Words by: DJ Jones
Photos by: Riley
The Flatbush Zombies brought Hell with them to Portland last night to kick off their “Vacation In Hell” tour, appropriately named after their sophomore project. The performance was the second of a back to back show in Rose City. The group tapped Pro Era members Nyck Caution and Kirk Knight to join them on the road as well. The fans of Portland did not disappoint, selling out both nights at the Roseland Theater. A good start to their North American tour.The stage was true to Flatbush form. Their set was decorated with two TVs which played trippy loops and displayed a “Greetings from Hell” image with a tropical island backdrop. Two coffins, one with a heart on it, the other with a triangle, stood on both sides of a hurst that disguised the DJ’s booth. Headstones adorned with the hairstyles of each rapper and their respective names engraved on each one, lined the stage floor.The venue shook with a violent thunderclap. The crowd bellowed in anticipation. Zombie Juice popped out of the coffin with the heart and started rapping “HELL-O.” Erick Arc Elliott popped out of the coffin opposite of Juice as he started his verse. A couple stagehands rolled out another coffin with an Ankh on it. Out popped Meechy Darko, arguably (don’t @vdyrdavisionary me) the best voice in Rap. His voice box is like the lovechild of Chuck D’s and DMX’s voice boxes. The Zombies ran through a good bit of their new album. Early album favorites like “Big Shrimp,” “Ask Courtney,” and “Headstone” had the crowd moshing the majority of the show, especially when “Vacation” started to play.
The raging bodies clashing into each other, accompanied with the not-so-cold weather Portland has been having helped the Roseland make fans feel like they were truly in Hell. An intoxicated bystander in the crowd was overheard talking about the heat in the venue. “Yeah man, whatever you’re wearing, prepare to get it wet because these guys will you have you sweating for sure,” the intoxicated man said. The Zombies made sure to give their cult following of fans a few cuts from their older projects with songs like “New Phone, Who Dis?” from 3001: A Laced Odyssey and “AmeriKKKan Pie” from the acclaimed 2013 mixtape: Better Off Dead.
The undead trio ended their set on an uplifting note as they played “The Glory,” the outro song of Vacation In Hell. The stagehands rolled Meechy’s coffin back out. He hopped in while adlibbing for Juice. The stage lights placed a soft shade of blue on the stage. The fog started to clear, possibly symbolizing new beginnings and the “celebration of life” Juice spoke of during the song. The stage goes black as the invisible hands roll Meechy away. The crowd goes wild as if Hollyfield had just won the fight (Thanks Three Stacks). They screamed at the empty stage: “Encore! Encore! Encore!” The Zombies from Flatbush obliged the crowd with “Palm Trees,” one of the groups most recognizable songs. The crowd returned the love by rapping each members verse verbatim. Satan loved the Flatbush Zombies enough to stop the rain in Portland for a while and crank up the heat for them as they raised Hell on stage. Now that they’re gone, Lucy’s got some ‘splainin to do.