Open Mike Eagle @ Stereo, Glasgow, 19 Mar

Open Mike Eagle presents a well-balanced set of chill and heavy hip-hop that has the crowd hanging on his every word

Live Review by Nadia Younes | 22 Mar 2018

Finally arriving on stage nearly an hour late, it’s pretty clear support act Milo has been partaking in a little pre-party of his own before the gig. There’s a very thrown together feel about his set and he spends much of the time pacing back and forth across the stage, drifting in and out of stream-of-consciousness ramblings. His beats and rhymes are generally quite interesting, but his set could be vastly improved with a bit more structure.

Open Mike Eagle’s set though is much more considered, largely dominated by tracks from his latest album Brick Body Kids Still Daydream but with scatterings of older tracks throughout. His visuals too have clearly been given some serious consideration, switching between trippy, psychedelic imagery and archival footage to suit each track.

There’s a healthy balance of more chilled moments (Legendary Iron Hood, 95 Radios and Very Much Money (Ice King Dream)) and heavier moments (Brick Body Complex, My Auntie’s Building and Qualifiers), representing the different elements of his music well. The crowd attempt a singalong at the end of Daydreaming in the Projects, the centrepiece of the new album, but it backfires when it transpires they don’t actually seem to know the words. Eagle seems humoured by it though, warning us, “Be careful, y’all gonna turn into a gospel choir.”

Following the theme of the track’s video, Eagle begins Doug Stamper, from 2014’s Dark Comedy, with The Advice Show – a brief segment where he asks audience members if they have a problem he can help them with. When an audience member informs him her boyfriend doesn’t want to be with her anymore, his abrupt response is “get a new boyfriend,” and he fires straight into the track; the accompanying visuals featuring a range of pro-wrestling clips.

Eagle’s real skill, however, is in his lyrical ability and tonight he has us hanging on his every word.