Image from reggieslive.com
Earlier in the Fall season, Memphis Underground Rapper Travis Miller, known by his pseudonym as Lil Ugly Mane, had posted an inauspicious announcement of his first tour in half a decade. Touring with Memphis Hardcore Punk band No Warning, fans of Lil Ugly Mane have been awed by his sudden appearance after his seemingly never-ending hiatus.
The impetus to his online regality was his grody but catchy rap album, Mista Thug Isolation, released in 2012. This album catapulted his presence far into the culture that SoundCloud and Bandcamp were cultivating at the time. After various shows and a handful of tours after the successful release, fans wanted to seek more of his live shows.
Releasing project after project under ambiguous alias titles and scarce social media presence, Lil Ugly Mane pulled through with a national tour held in small venues of the nation.
Presented as a tour conducted by Lil Ugly Mane and No Warning, three other headliners performed for the show held in Chicago. The venue was a considerably small but spacious room, which billowed radiant, soothing lighting and had sticky floors stained with spilled beer cans.
The first thing you typically notice when going to a show is how the audience is. What consistent personality do you see skimming through the lines and the people around you inside the venue?
Taken at Reggie’s Rock Club
Being in one of the first Hardcore shows I’ve ever attended, I’ve automatically noticed the difference in the fans’ clothing choice, mood, and dialect compared to previous Hip-Hop and Alternative shows I’ve attended. The audience members were seemingly more husky, loud, and inviting.
It was interesting to see how comfortable the aura was in this show. I’ve been caught up with a conversation with various people throughout the show. We’ve pronounced how we understood that this was a once in a lifetime scenario and that we were all here to witness the event.
The first performance was the Chicago band Vortex, who initiated the fervent energy that was held consistent throughout the show.
Next was Lurk, who continued the hardcore chaos for the next half an hour. Standing all the way at the front, I’ve started to notice the audience members behind me push each other from side to side, falling down on the alcohol-stained floor, and skimping back and forth in the aperture of the crowd.
The third act, Sanford Parker, was an interesting, Industrial/Experimental disc jockey who, for around half an hour or so, reverberated the room with his technical passion.
The last two shows were the headliners that everyone was waiting for. No Warning came out with a brutal performance, with recalibrating guitars, fast-peddling drums, and an actively aggressive lyricist perpetuating the calling for turbulence within the crowd.
At this point, I’ve had my hoodie nearly torn off and my phone nearly slapped out of my grasp.
The final and most enticing headliner finally appeared before the eyes of the crowd. Lil Ugly Mane appeared in the stage, almost confront us face to face as we screamed down his lyrics down his own throat.
Lil Ugly Mane
The audience members pushed forward and behind right behind the gate, I felt my rib cage compress against the hard metal, compressing the air from my lungs, as I fought just to heave for oxygen.
Although Lil Ugly Mane held a Rap set and Sanford Parker was more Industrial, the event itself was meant to be a hardcore set. A procession of broken artists coming together to relent their anguish upon screaming and thrashing fans.
The amount of energy was unrelenting and it felt great being surrounded by people who did not care how they acted in front of each other. Lil Ugly Mane may not appear in Chicago again for another decade, or even ever, and we were all here to celebrate the unpredictable specter.