Denzel Curry 

at Roadrunner




Words: Ozzy Wagenseil
Published: October 23, 2022

In 2015, Denzel Curry released his breakout single “Ultimate,” gaining tremendous popularity through videos of people flipping bottles on the platform Vine. During the last show of his Melt My Eyez tour at Roadrunner in Boston, Curry proved to be a stand-out rapper and innovative performer.




The 27-year-old Floridian has had quite the productive 2022. In late January, Curry released the song and music video for “Walkin,” the debut single for his upcoming album, Melt My Eyez See Your Future. Prefaced by two other singles—“Zaitochi'' featuring Slowthai and “Troubles” featuring T-Pain—the LP found its release on March 25th, peaking at number 51 on the Billboard 200 and number 19 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums. Starting in Orlando June 21st, Curry embarked on his North American tour, accompanied by PlayThatBoiZay, redveil, and AG Club. During the trip, Curry was highlighted on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, and debuted his feature on “Talk About Me” with Dot da Genius, Kid Cudi, and JID.

Roadrunner opened this year, making a great stop for Denzel Curry’s last show. The 60,000 square foot venue had a wide open floor (plenty of room for the roughly 2,500 people that showed up), including an extra level with draping balconies for those who wanted to kick back. Though it was mostly dark inside, the walls were adorned with murals and the space bulged with excitement and anticipation. At 8:00 pm, the show started.

The first opener was a surprise—Deniro Farrar, from North Carolina. Farrar commanded the crowd and matched the energy of the rest of the lineup well, despite coming from seemingly out of nowhere. After a five-minute intermission, the next performer was PlayThatBoiZay, one of Curry’s long-time collaborators. His trap metal flow and unique stage presence enticed the crowd, which quickly absolved into a sea of thrashing bodies. 18-year-old Marylander redveil took the stage next, following PlayThatBoyZai’s 15-minute set with one over half an hour. Knowing that it was the last performance of the tour, redveil was rapping every flow with emotion, especially with his song “Mars,” and “Weight,” off his second mixtape Niagara. He continued performing various songs from his most recent album, Learn 2 Swim, guiding the audience through his storytelling rhymes and visibly melting his nerves away.

Twenty minutes after the end of redveil’s set, the crowd was surprised by two large inflatable faces that appeared in front of them. Despite “INTERMISSION” reading across the teeth of one and sunglasses laid across the other, AG Club was ready to perform. The two rappers—Jody Fontaine and BabyBoy—took to the stage and, though mostly unfamiliar to the audience, had amazing chemistry that lit the crowd on fire. Trading flows, shouting each other’s adlibs, and building off of old-school hip hop beats with tap drums, the duo performed songs from their album Impostor Syndrome, and turned everyone in the room to the chorus of their song “Mr. Put It On.” The energy was hot, and loud enough to pull Curry and redveil in from the wings before concluding with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” If not before, every fan of Curry’s left well aware of AG Club and, hopefully, their newfound imprint on the hip hop game.

At last, the headliner himself appeared on stage. Denzel Curry started off rapping to “Melt Session #1”, the intro song for Melt My Eyez See Your Future, before transitioning to “Walkin,” the perfect anthem with a beautiful amount of suspense before the beat drop. The Western visuals accompanying the DJ solidified Curry’s change of theme with this music, demonstrating a more classic hip-hop influence. After a few slow songs like “Troubles,” and “Mental,” he shifted over to some of his older songs—including, to much delight, “Ultimate.”

Denzel Curry’s energy throughout the set was unreal. Not once did he falter or shy away from interacting with the crowd. At one point, an audience member hands him their shoe, to which Curry tosses it across the crowd, screaming “Fuck that shoe!” Just before playing “Ricky,” the hit song from Zuu, Curry instructed the audience to get low, conjuring ample energy and carving plenty of time for proper pits to form. While trying to split the crowd before the beat dropped in “Ain’t No Way,” Curry made fun of one side for tossing water bottles, and instructed the other side to join him. Between songs, he went through the crowd to see who could be the loudest, and at the very end of the show, for roughly five minutes, he got the crowd to imitate forming an energy ball, mirroring that from Dragon Ball Z.

While Curry’s energy and stage presence were unparalleled, the audience was respectful through the set’s entirety, give or take a few people hitting the floor. Between sets, security would hand out water bottles to those at the barricade, to be passed back and shared, creating an environment that felt safe. All in all, the evening of October 8 at Roadrunner was nothing short of fantastic. Each opener was unique, the audience kept their momentum, the staff was extremely accommodating, and Curry set the room ablaze. What awaits the performers, we shall see, but Denzel Curry has far beyond proven to be an astonishing artist at the turn of the decade.
 

INDIE

(Alternative)

360

(R&B/hip-hop)

WBRU RADIO (Alternative)

360 (R&B/hip-hop)