Baltimore / by Bryan Lackner


...and so it begins.

we arrived to a glowing red room as the sun set on Baltimore. The Crown sits atop a vacant mini-plaza; ex-Korean business offices that have newspapers covering all of the glass panes. Height's wife Gabri suggested we try the Kimchi fries:

for this tour, we set up our speakers* opposite Height's, and the stage at the venue completes the Round Robin. we ran our respective soundchecks, and then heard The Crown's stage.
now, we're not traveling with subwoofers, and goddamn does The Crown have some bass on their stage. it sounded great, but we started getting a little worried that our stage would sound so tiny in comparison, so we started fiddling with knobs. i guess we forgot to check the sound post-knob fiddling, because for our opening track, the music was low. and i mean, we knew the capability of these speakers, so we both kind of looked at each other befuddled, like, "shit was just working a minute ago..." we troubleshooted and by the second song, things were running smooth again.

if you aren't familiar with the Round Robin concept: 6 acts (in B'more's case, 8) share 3 stages, and each act performs a song before passing it to the next stage. it's a good way to keep energy high throughout the night, and keep people in the venue, instead of leaving to go smoke and do whatever else. it also brings like-minded emcees together, which is very welcoming.

we shared a stage with the group, DI. DI were dope. DI were also selling/wearing t-shirts that had their name (Disturbed Individuals) resembling the ISIS flag which was...confusing? DI had a counter-culture tilt to their music, and right now, what's more counter-culture than fucking ISIS? very punk rock of them.

i got a chance to talk to Sam Herring (Future Islands) in between songs, which was dope. Sam will be joining us in Asheville under his rap moniker, Hemlock Ernst. it's nice to meet someone you admire from afar and they end up being down-to-earth, cool people. that isn't always the case. while i talked with Sam, one of the bartenders made me the best whiskey ginger i've ever had. thank you, Charles. thank you, Sam.

great attendance, great energy from all the performers and the audience. perfect way to start off the tour. we ended the night by going to Royal Farms, which Height and Gabri described as, "a Maryland Sheetz". OH HOW I LOVE TOUCHSCREEN MENUS. i did see that they have sweet-'n'-salty Combo's now, though. not on board with that shit.

about to record an episode of Height Zone World, then head to Naptown. in a literal sense, and a figurative! (i'm a little tired)

*shouts to the Prince