Concert Recap: Action Bronson and Party Supplies at Irving Plaza in New York City on January 11, 2014 By Jason Schellhardt @ActionBronson @DMVicious

Headliner: Action Bronson
Opening Act: Party Supplies
Venue: Irving Plaza
Date: January 11, 2014

Following the release of their collaborative mixtape Blue Chips 2, Action Bronson and Party Supplies kicked off their tour with two sold out shows at Irving Plaza. Upon entering the venue, there was an undeniable air of excitement. People love to dance on the grave of New York hip-hop, but there would be none of that this evening. Queens was definitely in the building.

Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg started the night off proper with a set packed full of New York legends: Nas, Mobb Deep, Big Pun, and so on. In the middle of the set, Rosenberg addressed the crowd, saying, “A lot of people talk about who’s really doing it for New York right now. I think there is a strong case to be made for the man you’ll see here tonight.”

Following Rosenberg’s set, New York-based duo Party Supplies took the stage. The combination of Party Supplies and Action Bronson has worked beautifully on the Blue Chips mixtape series, but the band’s live act proved to be a hard sell for this crowd full of hip-hop heads.

Concert Recap: Action Bronson and Party Supplies at Irving Plaza in New York City on January 11, 2014 By Jason Schellhardt @ActionBronson @DMVicious

Vocalist/guitarist Justin Nealis and keyboardist Sean Mahon took the stage, performing indie-pop anthems from their debut record, Tough Love, but the crowd was ready for the headliner. Chants of “Bronson” began breaking out between songs.

As the anticipation thickened, so did the clouds of smoke. Bronson finally took the stage as the DJ cued up “I Can’t Dance” by Genesis. This kind of kitsch is one of Bronson’s most appealing qualities — no other rapper could get away with walking on stage to an adult-contemporary record from the early ’90s.

The set started off with the opening tracks from Blue Chips 2 in sequence. Bronson isn’t much for playing his back catalogue, so most of the evening drew from that mixtape and his recent EP, Saab Stories.

Anyone familiar with Bronson’s live show knows that his onstage antics often find him off-stage; surprisingly, however, Bronson spent his entire set onstage Saturday night. Overall, this was a pretty subdued performance from an artist whose reputation has been built on debauchery — however, some of that debauchery was front-and-center as Bronson began hurling his signature G Pen vaporizers into the crowd.

Bronson’s performance was a testament to the MC’s ability to captivate a room without gimmicks. It was just him on stage with a DJ and an occasional appearance from Nealis on guitar. The only guest appearance came from Meyhem Lauren, who rapped his verse from “Jackson & Travolta.” Noticeably absent was Bronson’s usual partner in crime, Big Body Bes. “Free Big Body” chants would break out sporadically throughout the set.

After winding through crowd pleasers like “Contemporary Man” and “Strictly 4 My Jeeps,” the crowd had hit fever pitch. Nealis re-emerged onstage and began playing the opening chords for “Amadu Diablo,” which lifts the guitar riff from Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.” At the end of the song, Bronson said goodnight and walked off stage.

The ending was abrupt, and a little early. It was somewhat disappointing that Bronson’s headlining set barely scratched the one-hour mark. This is one major obstacle facing the 5-foot-7-inch, 300-plus pound MC: his endurance.

Yet despite the show’s brevity, it was wildly entertaining and felt like a defining moment in the career of a soon-to-be New York hip-hop legend.

Though Action Bronson’s place on the totem pole of New York hip-hop is debatable, there is no doubt that Bronson has already locked down the title of People’s Champ. There is no other rapper out right now who gets the kind of love and adoration that Bronson got from that night’s crowd.

Check out a couple of performances from the show:

“It Concerns Me”

“Pepe Lopez, The Don’s Cheek”


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