Having seeing Fresh Espresso half a dozen times or so, I thought I knew what I was walking into for their performance Day One of Capitol Hill Block Party. However, I think every other time I’ve seen this hip hop two-some pales in comparison to their performance last night at the Neumos stage. Maybe it was the crowd, maybe it was their set, maybe it was the bobbing blue light-sabers that illuminated the space above my head, but this was one memorable set.
Fresh Espresso’s most recent release, Bossalona, is now out and their set was decorated with many songs from it but of course included a lot of familiar older tracks. The crowd seemed familiar with most of the rhymes whether old or new, but really, that didn’t even matter. It seemed like everyone in attendance just wanted to get as rowdy as possible- with grinding bodies pressed against each other haphazardly- everyone was jammed into one another losing it to rhyme after rhyme after rhyme.
Hands were flying in the air during ‘Girls in Fast Cars,’ and sunglasses provided by Rhapsody were put to good use when Fresh Espresso busted out ‘Sunglasses,’ demanding that the crowd put ’em on. During part of the set, a mosh pit erupted by guys who felt the need to bring the rowdy to an even more intense level. It wasn’t well received by most, but the people who were a part of it looked like they were having the time of their life. That expression of delight was mirrored on the faces of Fresh Espresso on stage; they were dripping sweat by the end of their set after having clearly given the crowd the crazy energy that we demanded.
Walking out of this show, steam coming off of so many sweaty bodies, walking past people who couldn’t get in from how packed it was, you couldn’t help but feel like you’d left something big. This local act is one that kills it every time I’ve seen them live, and their performance last night at Block Party was no exception. They constantly set the bar, and then raise it, for Seattle hip hop.