What could make Erick Arc Elliott say this was the best Flatbush Zombies show ever? Well, as what seemed like, all of Brooklyn ventured out to Red Hook in their festive garb aka tie-dye shirts, there was an undeniable energy in the air that would inevitably lead to a hometown show like none other. The Brooklyn natives kicked off New York City’s free, annual Summerstage series last night in Red Hook Park to an all-ages crowd who came to see their favorite bands and officially start their summer.
The show began with Kris Kasanova, who is featured on Peter Rosenberg’s New York Renaissance and was raised in Red Hook, performing a few of his tracks rocking a simple Met’s jersey. After a brief set from Kasanova, The Underachievers, comprised of AK and Issa Gold, were warmly welcomed on stage and went straight into cuts off their Indigoism mixtape like “Philanthropists,” “T.A.D.E.D.,” “New New York” and “The Madhi.” They also gave the crowd some on their new material by performing, amongst others, the freshly-released “Niggas Ain’t Really Bout Shit” produced by Eff. Dope; all of which the audience was happy to hear. The climax of their set was when their DJ for the evening, Powers Pleasant of Pro Era, dropped the “Herb Shuttles” infectious beat and, almost instantaneously, mosh pits broke out while UA performed their most popular track. That would only be a preview of things to come.
There was a quick set change and then there was silence. A beat drops and Juice comes out on stage alone and spits a verse or two. Then, per usual, he gives his bandmates, Erick and then Meech, wrestling-style introductions. Quickly the Zombies explain to the audience that they had been flying for 24 hours back from Australia and were overjoyed, though exhausted, to be back home. The crowd revitalized the Zombies with their receptive energy. They ran through jams like “S.C.O.S.A.,” “Bath Salt” and “Face-Off.” Once FZ’s set started, a perpetual rotation of crowd surfers began along with seemingly uncontrollable moshing. Meechy kindly made an announcement, for the safety of the female fans, for the crowd to “chill.” Keeping the show moving and NYC love alive, they brought out Tan Boys and Queen’s own World’s Fair and even saw an appearance from A$AP Ant. The trio was able to perform their hit “Thug Waffle” before the sound went out and the stage went black and their set was dramatically cut short mid-song. Meech left the crowd with one message, “Open your mind.”
No ambulances were called, the only wreckage left behind was an array of empty 40oz’s and, to top it off, it was all free. —Abrea Armstrong