I got my first glimpse of him when I was walking from my car to the venue. A feeling of comfort quickly fell over me. I wanted to go up and say something but I didn’t have the guts. There he was, B. Dolan, just walking down Hennepin Avenue with someone who turned out to be the opening act. My palms got sweaty and it took every ounce of me to not go “fangirl” on him. I had to play it cool. He was just a normal guy walking down a normal street but I could hardly contain myself.
B. Dolan is a member of the Strange Famous family. Strange Famous is a record label owned by Sage Francis. Sage Francis just happens to be one of my favorite musicians of all time. That being said, maybe I’m a little biased when it comes to B. Dolan but the fact is, he’s amazingly talented and has a great live show. Last night proved that it isn’t just my bias for the Strange Famous family, B. Dolan kills it every single time.
I have seen him before multiple times but last night was the first time I had seen him headline a show. I have to be honest, I was a bit nervous about how it was going to go. I mean, he was great when I saw him open up for Sage Francis a couple months ago and he absolutely killed it at Soundset last year but did he really have it in him to command a whole crowd just by himself? Was his set going to be worth the exhaustion I would be feeling the next day? Well, let me tell you, I’m freaking exhausted but I’m so glad that I went and checked out the show last night. Not only did B. Dolan completely command the crowd, he performed better than I have ever seen him perform before.
It’s how he isn’t afraid to get in people’s faces. It’s his intense stare that goes straight through you like a dagger. It’s the way his music makes you feel things that you rarely get to feel at shows anymore. It’s the way that when he looks at you, you instantly feel comfort. There’s something about B. Dolan, and how he is when he performs, that is impossible to put into words.
His music is mostly political but it’s not the type of political rapping that makes you feel uncomfortable. It’s the kind that feels more like a conversation than a fight. He brings up topics that affect everyone and raises awareness on said topics but it seems like he does not judge anyone for their beliefs. He just wants to be heard. We all just want to be heard. That’s the great thing about B. Dolan and the whole Strange Famous family. The lyrics are relatable but still a bit controversial. They make you think and make you talk.
I respect anyone who can get up on stage alone or with one other person and completely captivate the crowd. Although it wasn’t a packed show, B. Dolan and his DJ, Felix Fast4ward (who ended up also being one of the opening acts), had the whole crowd in the palm of their hands. When B. Dolan said jump, the humble crowd jumped. When he said repeat after me, the crowd lowered their drinks from their mouths and repeated whatever he said. I see some bands play to sold out crowds that would kill for this kind of attentiveness but are unable to get anything close to this… B. Dolan doesn’t even ask for it, he gets it because of who he is and how much respect the fans have for him.
The whole show was great. As I mentioned, B. Dolan’s DJ Felix Fast4ward opened up the show. It was just him and some keyboards, a computer, a flute, a guitar, some sample pads… well hell, he was a whole freaking band all by himself. At first I didn’t quite understand it but after watching him for a couple songs and seeing the joy he had as he was performing it was more than enough to get me into it. Maybe it’s not really my scene and definitely not something I would listen to in my free time but I respect anyone who gets up on a stage and doesn’t give a damn about what the crowd thinks. Felix was doing his thing and enjoying the crap out of it and because of that, I ended up really enjoying it too.
The other opener was Haphduzn. This guy got up on that stage and completely caught me off guard. He is your typical Minnesota rapper and I mean that in all of the best ways. He sings about real life and living in the Twin Cities. His music, like the music of B. Dolan, the Strange Famous family and almost all of the other rappers in the Minnesota scene, is relatable and that’s why I like it. I don’t know much about the Minnesota rap/ hip-hop scene. I am definitely more of a Minnesota metal kid but I would skip any local metal show just to see Haphduzn play again. I wonder how long it is until he is picked up by Rhymesayers or Doomtree… he is more than worthy to join either of those two powerhouses.
Last night was a rap show. I’m not a huge fan of rap/ hip-hop music but I’m a fan of everything that happened last night. I finally got to see B. Dolan again and fell deeper in love with the local music here in the Twin Cities. Last night was perfect… now if only I had just said hi to B. Dolan when I saw him on the street.
Venue: 7th Street Entry
Sausage Fest Meter- 9 out of 10
Crowd Surfers- 0
Stage Divers- 0
Broken Bones- None
Average Age- 25
Moshing Level- None
Drink of Choice Throughout the Crowd- Corona
Spotted Flying Through the Air- None
Overall Score- 9 out of 10
Show on Deck— There are about 12 shows going on between Friday/ Saturday. I am undecided as to what ones I’m going to so I guess it’ll just have to be a surprise!