Since last year when I first got a hold of ‘Sink or Swim’, I’ve wanted to peep Nu Era in concert. When I saw the show pop up at the Nectar Lounge I knew I had to go, especially since it featured the dope live band Theoretics and rapper Gift of Gab.
When I pulled up, Nu Era was just getting their set rolling. The Seattle-based group consists of 3 rappers, 5 Flat, Turtle T, and Chiefs, and producer/rapper Andrew Savoie. I walked through the doors and Andrew Savoie was getting super hype on stage, jumping up and down and offering as many doubles and ad-libs as humanly possible. 5 Flat was in back spitting slick rhymes while accidentally making beers explode on himself, much to the joy of the crowd. By the middle of their set even the DJ was feeling it and broke out a nice display of his skills on the tables. While the whole set was dope, my favorite part was during their encore, when Turtle T hit the crowd with an impromptu freestyle instead of his verse.
Up after Nu Era was Theoretics, a seven piece Seattle-based hip-hop band, with a sax, a bass, a guitar, a drummer and two vocalists. As a member of both groups, Chiefs killed it in both Nu Era’s and the Theoretics’ set. The multitalented rapper can both rip smooth instrumentals and kill it in front of a live band with ease. Much to my surprise, he also has some vocal chops and did a nice job harmonizing on some of his hooks and verses. Let’s not forget about the rest of the band here — that’s the best part about Theoretics, they’re a live band. Even with their relatively large size, they are extremely tight and their professionalism and showmanship easily captivates an audience. In a small venue like the Nectar Lounge, their energy is overpowering. They just seem to feed off each other, effortlessly trading verses, solos and fills. Let me be clear too, all of the musicians in the band are talented; one of the best parts of their set was the sax solo from Art Brown who absolutely ripped it.
These two openers were dope as fuck and I’m super happy that I went to the show, however I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to see Gift of Gab because he was super late and he wasn’t on stage by midnight. While there is a grace period for artists getting on stage and I do expect them to run a little late, it’s annoying when there is a 30-minute break between acts. Maybe that’s just how they run things at the Nectar Lounge, but I don’t know it seemed weird to me.
Other than that I was really impressed by both the acts that I caught and the venue. Nectar Lounge has a clean set up, a very intimate vibe and a chill patio, so it’s definitely worth peeping a show there. Nu Era came hard their Northwest spin on group Hip Hop and the Theoretics put it over the top with their musicianship and live band.
If you are interested in more Nu Era, check their album, Sink or Swim. You can catch more of the Theoretics in their recently released EP, Plenty of Anything, and at Sasquatch Music Festival this May!
Peep more from Theoretics and Nu Era below: