On the eve before the Great American Beer Festival, Melvin Brewing not only delivered unto us Wu-Tang Clan, but they kicked the night off with their annual All-Star IPA Throw down. Held just across the street from where Wu-Tang would later be playing, the All Star IPA Throw down has been the talk of the town for 3 years now. Although not labeled as a competition, I would be willing to bet, a lot of them consider it one of sorts. Brewers fly in from all over the United States to showcase their special blends of IPA’s to the attendees. Twenty-two beers are entered and tonight those beers went oh so fast. What a great start to what was soon to be a fabulous night!
After finally walking across the street to the newly redesigned Summit Music Hall, we made our way through the doors and up the stairs to the VIP just in time for the show to begin! The stage looked amazing from that view and you could see how much of the crowd covered the floor. They really opened up the place, removing extra sets of stairs that used to lead up to the balcony, which ended up being the best setting for some New York city hip hop to be laid out.
Young Dirty Bastard was first to take the stage, or should I say floor. Bringing that true New York hip hop vibe, with DJ Chonz spinning, YDB immediately flew offstage and into the crowd, first walking amongst his fans which eventually led into a mosh pit of sorts all while spittin’ out lyrics with no hesitation. The energy in the place lit up providing the perfect mood for the night… well especially for me with this being my very first ever hip hop show. The beats were so smooth and flowed so well with the lyrics, makes me have that much more appreciation for these guys, with their classic, timeless style. After a quick shout out to Melvin Brewing, YDB threw his hood up and left the stage.
Killah Priest was up next, he was honest and admitted he was pretty f**kd up but still slayed the stage with his words, kept the crowd focused and movin’. All of the pauses just so perfect when the beat would switch but he never missed a step. Such a great rhythm to the beat, a match made in heaven.
Reakwon came on towards the end of Killah Priest’s set and unleashed into a set of his own, now with DJ Symphony on the turntables behind him. What I love about this show is that each set had its own style, its own energy but one solid message. One love.
Rza….. the lyrical genius, his flow is so sick and commanding it puts you in a trance. With the smoothness of his words against the backbreaking beats, the music instantly infects your body and you cannot help but move. This show was phenomenal! I seriously do not think I will be able to go see any other hip hop show outside of Wu-Tang now, from start to finish I was blown away. I had always wanted to experience the gritty feel of New York’s music scene and when YDB jumped down into the crowd, it made me think of all those videos I used to watch all the time…. when hip hop music was real.
By the end of the night, I was so tired and when I finally got home, I totally passed out. All those Killer Bees from Melvin Brewing tasted so good and the bed felt even better, lol.
I cannot wait for tomorrow’s opening day of the Great American Beer Festival. Make sure to stop by the Melvin Brewing booth at GABF this weekend! Last year they had this rad bus with a dude playing an acoustic out front….and they are back this year! Check out the list for special tappings at the Melvin bus:
Saturday-1pm & 7pm
Click here for the calendar and list of brewer locations for this weekends event and hope to see you all there!!!
📷 Teddy G / Xposer Photography