Redveil Brings First Headlining Tour Home

"The kid’s ability to spit is past obvious at this point, but his energy on stage is electric, and yet easy."

More than a year into my concert shooting career, and I can finally say I shot a rap show; its only fitting that hometown wonderkid Redveil, was the one to bring me out. The “PG Baby” shutdown Union Stage, in what was also my first truly sold-out show at the venue. I’ve been to some hot concerts in my time, but I can say without doubt, that was the hottest show to date. By the end of the night, we were all covered in sweat, and I don’t think we would have had it any other way. Longtime friend and collaborator D’mari Harris opened the show, followed by fellow support, Femdot.

While I’d never heard a lick of D’mari Harris’ music, I felt a connection to the fledgling artist immediately; he looks like the kids I grew up with, sounds like the people I’ve spent much of my life around, the instant familiarity was refreshing. Though I and every other Baltimorean will tell you, PG County ain’t Baltimore, the obvious truth is that we’re far more similar than different. There’s an element of local Baltimore rap in [Harris’] music, blended with contemporary influences and rooted in quintessential DC sounds; its an interesting thing to hear and see these familiar influences realized in front of you, and for that reason alone, D’mari Harris has piqued my interest.

Femdot performs live at Union Stage in DC

Once upon a time I was a misunderstood youth, getting by on junk food and pirated music in the Heyday of LimeWire and BitTorrent. It was somewhere in that time that I first came across Femdot. While I couldn’t tell you what song or mixtape I listened to back then, I hadn’t forgotten the name either. The lyricist made it clear why that was when he took the mic into his hands; the man can spit. For all the shows I’ve seen, the huge productions and all stops pulled stage designs, there’s something equally as satisfying about watching a dude stroll back and forth across the stage, casually setting the mic on fire. I clearly owe myself the pleasure of adding Femdot to the Spotify rotation.

Redveil performs live at Union Stage in DC

By time Redveil came up to bat, Union Stage was blazin; and I, who made the mistake of wearing jeans and a flannel, was baking. As the young PG County star grabbed the mic, the heat only intensified. I’ll admit I hadn’t heard much of Redveil’s earlier stuff, though I was certainly in the minority as that goes; playing deep into his catalog (an impressive statement considering the lyricists age), there wasn’t a single song that at least somebody knew the words to. The kid’s ability to spit is past obvious at this point, but his energy on stage is electric, and yet easy. By time he was done, he’d lost his jacket and shirt, and was covered in enough sweat to fill an empty glass; the smile on his face never wavered.

Something tells me Redveil was born for this; so, years from now when he’s a global superstar, and a Maryland legend, I’ll remember this night, when I saw the flicker of a star before it grew to be a sun.

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