Vacation in hell with The Flatbush Zombies

The Flatbush Zombies at Vogue Theatre, 4/27/18

The Flatbush Zombies invaded Vancouver for the first time in four years Friday night, bringing with them the magnetic stage show the three-piece has built its reputation on with their steadily growing legions of supporters. Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick the Architect have carved out a menacing distinction for having high-energy performances over the years. However, even the most obstreperous of Zombie loyalists were taken aback at just how intense the Beast Coast rappers show has become.

Pro Era rapper/producer Nyck Caution kicked things off with a set that would successfully foreshadow an evening of audience participation. Encouraging the crowd to sing-along with him, Caution had the sold-out Vogue crowd captivated and engaged with his aggressive flow. Spotting an audience member at the front of the heard wearing the same piece of Nyck Caution regalia as he was currently sporting, the Brooklyn mc invited the passionate fan (Tanner) onstage to rap alongside him for “What’s Understood.” Prior living out the once in a lifetime experience (rapping alongside an idol before a packed house) Tanner expressed what the opportunity meant to him. “I just want you to know that you are my fucking influential, man.”

Known for supplying stanky beats for artists such as Ferg, Mick Jenkins and Joey Bada$$ Kirk Knight took the stage between Caution and the headliners showcasing several tracks from his yet to be released debut studio album. While Knight’s effort as an mc continues to mature, there is no questioning the production skills emanating off of the vastly talented 22-year-old. Asking the crowd if they are down with (the EP) Nyck @ Knight The Kreeper invited his 2017 Pro Era collaborative partner Caution back to the stage to help perform “Dial Up.”

Fellow Beast Coasters Caution and Knight had the sold-out Vogue Theatre bouncing. However, the impressive numbers singing along to many of the Pro Era tracks would pale in comparison to the Zombie following’s verbal involvement that would soon commence. The sheets covering the Flatbush Zombie set decoration were lifted to reveal a TV airing static alongside three caskets and the back of a hearse. Coming out of the blocks with the first two tracks off of April 6th’s Vacation in Hell, “Hell-o” and “Chunky” each member of the psychedelic hip-hop group climbed out of a coffin with an energy for life that would suggest we may all be BetterOffDead. Momentarily deviating from their latest release for just one song the Zombies layed down “Bounce” off of 3001: A Laced Odyssey before immediately returning to Vacation in Hell with a four-song run (“Headstone,” “Bison,” “Vacation,” “Big Shrimp”). As the night progressed each member of the group out of Flatbush, New York lost a shirt while encouraging the zombified crowd to lose their minds. Meechy Darko’s high-energy personality never ceases to capture the imaginations of spectators whether with the distinct growl in his signature voice or with the crowd surfing/mosh pit inducing lunacy the cut-rapper puts on display by unsuspectingly hurling himself into the fracas.

Zombie Juice and Erick Arc Elliott do a commendable job as both prolific lyricists and (at times) R&B crooners providing a valuable contrast to an otherwise aggressive rap-fueled onslaught. That said, The Zombies are at their best as an energy-addled veracious three-pronged attack on the senses. With an abundance of highlights over their 25 song set, the signature awe-inspiring moment came during the last track of the evening, “Palm Trees”. With one verse in the can off of the hit single from 2013’s BetterOffDead all three Zombies pointed their mics towards the crowd and in doing so received an uncanny 1000+ person serenation for three entire verses; easily one of the most impressively long audience sing-alongs this writer has ever encountered.

Ending the night by crawling back into the caskets from whence they came, Meechy Darko took the last word.

“Here is the message, plain and simple, very easy. It will be the most important point you ever learn in your entire life. Fuck everything you paid for in college, fuck elementary school, fuck all of the online courses you are taking. Fuck all of it, all right. Y’all still listening? All right motherfuckers I know you be high and shit. Pay a-fucking-ttention, Erick’s not talking, I am, motherfucker. Staring at Erick’s chest while I am talking? Get my message motherfucker. Plain and simple, very easy…Open your fucking mind!”

 

Flatbush Zombies Setlist

Hell-o

Chunky

Bounce

Headstone

Bison

Vacation

Big Shrimp

New Phone

Baby Don’t Go

This is it

Facts Into

Facts

Ascension

(Juice Talk)

Leather

Symphony

(Juice Talk)

Juice RnB

(Juice Talk)

Lama Lava

Proxies

(Erick Talk)

Trapped

(Erick Talk)

222

Trade Off

Best American (Canadian)

Amerikkkan Pie

Scosa

Bath Salts

(Erick Talk)

The Glory

————

Palm Trees