Concert Review: GoldLink in the Tavern

DMV rapper invigorated the crowd with raw energy and dance beats

Students swayed from side to side as D.C. native rapper GoldLink electrified the crowd with his vibrant energy and poetic lyrics in the Tavern Saturday night during the Student Union Board and WVAU’s spring performance.

Already well-established in the DMV music scene and recognized by leading producers like Kaytranada and Rick Rubin, GoldLink performed after local DJ Ayes Cold and rapper Ciscero -- who jumped right back on stage later to perform his newest hit, “Fall in Love,” with GoldLink.

“I was super hyped for this show because it was my first show with the AU hip-hop crowd and [it] featured one of my favorite artists at the moment, GoldLink,” freshman Eleanor Mendelson said. “Ayes Cold, Ciscero and GoldLink did an amazing job trying to get the crowd to vibe with them.”

GoldLink took the stage after much anticipation and quickly energized the crowd by performing “Dark Skin Women,” “Zipporah” and “Dance on Me” from his latest album, “And After That, We Didn’t Talk.” Concertgoers waved their arms as GoldLink busted out relaxed, wave-like moves as he performed.

“His music is so carefree and youthful and his presence is so different than any other artist out there,” sophomore Ornella Baganizi said. “He embraces being different and his song “Dark Skin Women” is one of my favorites.”

From one song to another, audience members continued to bop their heads along to the beat of GoldLink’s tunes and reacted positively when his crew stood alongside him.

During the middle of the show, GoldLink even sang along to old school, throwback hip-hop classics like Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” and DMX’s “Party Up (Up in Here),” which revamped the crowd’s energy. To reflect the intense vitality in the room at that moment, GoldLink and a couple of his friends got water bottles and sprayed water at the audience.

“I really appreciated both Ciscero and GoldLink’s energy,” senior Lindsay Maizland said. “They were jumping around the stage and trying to get the audience moving. I always love seeing when crowds respond to the performer -- like when the performer really moves people.”

GoldLink’s fierce beats and captivating words draw inspiration from hip-hop and soul tunes, and allude to stories about anything from privilege to ex-girlfriends. Each song is a sonic romance, charming audience members with illustrative anecdotes concerning GoldLink’s childhood, music career and relationships.

Other set spotlights included “Late Night” and “Palm Trees,” both from GoldLink’s recent album, and singles like “Sober Thoughts.”

Although the concert drew in a fairly small crowd, which only filled about three-quarters of the Tavern, many attendees knew all of the songs that GoldLink performed and even stayed afterwards to continue dancing after he had left the stage.

Overall, GoldLink’s show was a night to remember, with some of the top local DMV artists sharing the stage, which left the crowd wanting more and hip-hop fans bouncing along to the fleeting beats as DJ Kidd Marvel finished his set.

nc1048a@student.american.edu

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