Matson on Music
Riff Raff in Seattle: goonish and buffoonish
The Riff Raff show Monday at Nectar was lawless. It was one of those nights where you knew something bad was going to happen. You could just feel it. The California-via-Texas rapper went on an hour late and only played for 30 minutes. But that was long enough. Any more and someone probably would have burned the place down.
The smallish club felt oversold. Young-looking people were crushed against the monitors on the stage. Others tried to sneak in from the sidewalk to the back patio, throwing themselves over the heavy metal gate, crashing into the bushes. Security shoved them out immediately. After the show multiple fights broke out on the sidewalk. Driving away, I saw guys five blocks down the road ripping off shirts, squaring up. It was too much.
But that's what Riff Raff is — too much. The gaudy, buffoonish rapper has made a career on YouTube out of being too much. His appearance was hilarious, from his intricate beard to his delicate wireless microphone. And the music was good: heavy bass with nasally lyrics floating on top in mantras. He did a song he made up earlier that day, "Sleepless in Seattle," which referenced the recent Seahawks win. The rumor was that he was late to the show because he was filming a video for it downtown.
Women clambered on stage one after another, and he uniformly treated them like prostitutes and strippers. He got the crowd to chant for T&A — the most goonish part of the evening. While a few women were on stage basically being pimped by Riff Raff, others grabbed at his ankles from the side of the stage, apparently desperate to be in that position. It could be that they knew him beforehand, or were thinking more shrewdly than it seemed. Or maybe they had decided ahead of time not to think shrewdly, that for Riff Raff at Nectar, anything goes.
Fun fact: Odd Future was in the house. Left Brain and cohorts, anyway.