Students danced back and forth in a space normally used as a glorified cafeteria as Run the Jewels performed an intimate, energetic set in the Tavern on March 27 for the Student Union Board’s last concert of the academic year.
As Run the Jewels took the stage, they wasted no time breaking into popular tracks such as “Run the Jewels” and “Banana Clipper” from its self-titled debut album. The crowd roared as members Killer Mike and EL-P treated the stage like a trampoline, bouncing up and down.
Audience members reacted positively to song after song, and the Tavern became a powder keg of eccentric excitement when “Close Your Eyes (And Count to F***)” began to play. Featuring vocal tracks from Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha, Run the Jewels used the audience’s hype to promote its recently released music video for the song.
Among the political dialogue that fueled Run the Jewels’ music and the audience’s excitement, a speech delivered right before the track “Lie, Cheat, Steal” stood as an example of the group’s ongoing commentary on American culture.
“There are five motherf***ing rules to this God damn world, and they are not based on the 10 commandments, and they are not based on the Constitution, and they are not based on a democratic society. They are five words: lie, cheat, steal, kill, win! Everybody's doing it,” Killer Mike and EL-P chanted, exchanging lines. “Lets dedicate this to Congress, the Senate and the White House!”
Other set highlights included “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry,” “All My Life” and “Blockbuster Night Part 1,” from the group's second album “Run the Jewels 2.”
While the concert ended with El-P and Killer Mike praising their fans, Run the Jewels left with the crowd chanting for an encore, which the group immediately obliged. Its encore featured the song “Love Again (Akinyele Back),” a lesser known track from the group’s second album.
Although it drew a more modest crowd than SUB’s first concert of the year featuring Karmin and JoJo, the spring show brought a unique and altogether more relevant act to the AU community.