- ratkingPlease excuse the poor photography; imagine these photos as being visual representations of what it feels like to be at a Ratking show. Everything is shaking.
If you’ve never been to a Ratking show before, the first thing you’ve gotta do is learn how to duck.
It was a skill that would have come in handy last night (Feb. 24) at Glasslands in Williamsburg, as the Manhattan-based hardcore-rap trio took their particular brand of heavily rhythmic, bass-driven hip-hop and smacked Brooklyn in the face with it.
Truth be told, the effect of their live show could be felt before you even stepped into the venue; arriving around 11 last night, shortly after Ratking took the stage, meant passing by two guys talking about how they briefly blacked out in the mosh pit inside—”Watch your heads,” one warned us as we walked in—while the doorman had to step aside while checking our IDs as security forcibly removed another reveler by the neck as he begged to be allowed back in to grab his skateboard. Then Kitty Pryde walked out. It was that kind of Brooklyn night.
Once inside, though, the energy of the grimy underground that they represent—ratty white t-shirts, baggy jeans, missing teeth—was transfused throughout the room, morphing the middle of the floor into a mosh pit that was full of flailing elbows and barely-suppressed grins attached to wild-eyed faces. The trio raced through tracks like “100,” “Piece Of Shit,” “Comic” and “Retired Sports” as well as “So It Goes,” the title track off their debut album out April 8 on XL Recordings.
The show seemed to go well, but after two performances this past week at Music Hall of Williamsburg and Webster Hall in Manhattan—two significantly larger venues—opening for Earl Sweatshirt, the group seemed a little pent up, taking out their frustration on the sound guy at the venue. “Fuck the sound guy for being on his phone the whole time,” they said before their final song. “Did you even pay attention to what we were doing? Fuck Instagram. Fuck Facebook. What do you get paid for?”
If he wasn’t paying attention, he would’ve been the only one. —Dan Rys, with additional reporting by Emmanuel C.M.