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Swollen Members & Cool Nutz

Neumo's in Seattle, Washington

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One of the most badass weekend of my life began on Thursday night. After I left work I headed out to Neumos a few blocks away (in Seattle) and prepared myself to see a group that I have been following for half a decade, Potluck with a group that I have become obsessed with in the last year, Swollen Members. FOR FUCKIN FREE! As long as you’re 21, you could come enjoy the show, no bullshit or gimmick involved. Swollen played an all ages show here in November, so at least the venue doesn’t just book overage shows like 99% of the other clubs in the Sea. However, a detail that I must mention quickly is that Potluck had JUST dropped off the tour to accompany Twiztid on their Slaughterhouse tour (which I will be seeing & reviewing on March 21st) and was replaced by Portland Oregon MC Cool Nutz and his hypeman Dubble 00. Jay Barz opened the show, with Motamouth Jones I am assuming as I left the venue during his set. He is local, and I have had a positive and negative review of his performance so far, but I figured fuck it, I could catch this guy’s set any week as he is from Tacoma Washington, right down I-5. In Bellingham, they had some shitty top 40 DJ open whose name I didn’t catch, as it wasn’t displayed on the bill and the merch guy or bartenders had no clue who he was.

So allow me to begin with Cool Nutz. My friends at the show were in disbelief when I told them Cool Nutz was on the bill. This shocked the shit out of me, as I had never heard of the fuckin guy, and I thought it was pretty ironic that he opened for Swollen Members. My friend Katie was like “What the fuck? These groups are both named after balls.” I couldn’t argue with her, she was right. Nevertheless DJ Fatboy seized the ones and twos and got shit crackin right off the bat. Cool Nutz is a more mainstream sounding artist than I am accustomed to writing about, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that he had the crowd moving. Coming up in the juggalo scene, I got pretty used to insane theatrics and athletic displays on stage, which his set lacked both. There was no shortage of energy in the building though, as the place was becoming pretty packed and there wasn’t a track he performed people weren’t screaming over. Maybe I am the one out of the loop, as I live three hours from the guy and never heard of him before. BUT if you enjoy straight up rap music, Cool Nutz is your shit. Peep him out if you can, and catch a show of his sometime, you know, if the bill suits your interests.

After a huge motherfuckin intermission they tore down the Cool Nutz banner to display the huge Swollen Members banners on stage & on the dj table. Rob the Viking walked out on the stage and everybody went apeshit, just as I expected. Sometimes, you don’t even have to DO anything to get a crowd going. The crowd became a little more rowdy at this point, and Prevail came running out of nowhere getting hyphy as fuck right off the bat, and Mad Child came out on stage to get the shit officially crackin. Tre Nyce did not make an appearance on this tour. Even the people up on the balcony were wild as fuck at this point. Swollen did not allow the crowd a moment of silence, and the level of energy in the building did not dip ONCE during their set. As I have become a fan over the last year or so, I never realized how many people love this group. Most Swollen fans make it a top priority to go to every show and be as crazy as possible when they get there, and I even seen some familiar faces in the crowd from the November date. Aside from the music, my favorite aspect of their performances are the crowd participation. And when I say this, I don’t mean your typical “get your hands up” or “if you know the words sing along” shit. I’m talking about how they bring fans out on stage, some of which break dance, crowd surf, or dance like a retarded asshole on stage. Security doesn’t like this, but I say fuck ’em. It isn’t their show! They played a lot of the bangers you would have expected them to play. Warrior, Deep End, Watch This, Bring it Home, Red Dragon, Too Hot, and if I told you any more then it would just be a spoiler. The point that I won’t even waste more time to express is that these fools are one of the best touring acts out there at the moment. I am NOT trying to bullshit anybody right now, these cats FUCKING KILL IT EVERY TIME. Show me a hip hop group on tour right now that can hold a candle to this shit. I believe Swollen opened up an Olympics ceremony just 2 or 3 days before the Seattle date, then they hit up Bellingham and Portland, so this tour has just begun. If you love going to shows HALF as much as I do, this is a tour to catch. If you don’t like Cool Nutz or the fact that its only 2 bands on the bill, don’t let this stop you from going out to the show.

I am going to write a separate paragraph for the Bellingham experience, as it was unlike any show I have been to (outside of a gathering) for YEARS. An opportunity to continue the tour and go to the Bham date presented itself to me, and I would have to be out of my mind to not catch this tour two days in a row. I always thought Bellingham was somewhat a small college town with a bunch of bro-types and no balls. I could not have been more wrong! The Nightlight wasn’t even free like the Neumo’s date was, and they still had their venue just as packed as the last night! There was A LOT of bro-type college fuckers there, and not as many ninjas, but once the show got started there was no doubt in my mind I was about to be injured. Being front row for Swollen in Seattle is one thing. Bellingham is another. The violence that ensued during the Swollen Members performance was such a surprise that I still can’t believe how fucking brutal those kids are up there. Cool Nutz had the exact same set, but Swoll switched it up quite a bit. I got my ass kicked SO HARD in that crowd. I was trying to double fist beers in the front row and I was being knocked on my ass and punched and pushed all over the place. At several points I was bent over the stage, and this was bad as the stage was knee high to me, so my knees were bleeding and bruised as fuck when I left. I thought I was going to break my knees backwards, no joke. I had to choke this fool behind me and push him into some other people cause he kept throwing elbows while I was bent over. I don’t think he liked that, but fuck it. There are etiquettes involved with a crowd, and if you miss the point of controlled violence such as moshing, get the fuck out of the pit or be dealt with! Instead of the crowd surfing madness Prev and Mad Child did before, they topped this when Mad Child crowd surfed and then grabbed a huge pipe and pulled himself up to the ceiling, where he stayed for a minute ro so and didn’t miss a single lyric. He looked crazy swinging from that pipe with his legs wrapped around it just rapping up on the ceiling. This was around the time I lost my favorite hat and my new coat. Like I said this crowd was SERIOUS! I chased down the gigantic asshole who took my coat and he was about to fuck me up over trying to get my coat back, but that’s another story. Swollen did encored both nights I saw them, complete with whatever that killer Nirvana cover track is called. All in all, I would say Seattle was epic, and Bellingham was BEYOND EPIC as the crowd was fucking insane and definitely gave me a beatdown and a workout. If you haven’t caught these guys yet, do it now while they are still on tour! If they don’t go far east enough for you this time, don’t worry. They have plenty of touring in their future I am sure. I wouldn’t say Swollen is on a comeback right now, I would say they are just revitalizing their presence in the touring world, and the mark they make will be visible from the moon. Peace.

Websites

SwollenMembers.com
MySpace.com/CoolNutz
SuburbanNoizeRecords.com

Location:

  • Neumo's
  • Washington
  • United States

Guests:

  • Jay Barz & Motamouth Jones

Record Label:

  • Suburban Noize Records

Reviewer:

  • Buckeye Fresh

Review Date:

  • 02/18/2010

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