Concert review: Flatbush Zombies bring trippy hip hop intensity to State Theatre, St. Petersburg

The Brooklyn trio was joined by Remy Banks and A$AP Twelvyy this past Tue., May 10.

The Internet has become a barrage of lit, fam, and bruh, but all this verbiage is best used when referencing the vast multidimensional beings known as Flatbush Zombies. This trio of trippy emcees -- Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick "The Architect" Elliott -- know how to tear shit up, and they took it next-level for the sold-out crowd in attendance at their St. Petersburg show last night. A faint whiff of Kush and Backwoods permeated the air as chanting diehards and newer converts anxiously waited for the squad to take the stage.

Remy Banks and A$AP Twelvy set the tone for an evening of turn-up shenanigans, spurring a room full of sweaty zombie enthusiasts to sway along as they effortlessly breezed between mosh-inducing and drank-sipping vibes. These dudes are onto something. We could feel the ground quake all the way to the balcony when Twelvyy closed out his set with “Last Year Being Broke,” ramping up the already insane energy to a fury of middle fingers and hunger for the come-up.

click to enlarge Meechy Darko, Flatbush Zombies - Brian Mahar
Brian Mahar
Meechy Darko, Flatbush Zombies

Steering away from the growing trend of slamming the night's front end with a sea of unknown openers, Flatbush Zombies kept it ‘G’ and straight to the point, hitting the stage with no shortage of dramatics and one of the illest lighting and visual backdrops we've seen around. The “3001: A Laced Odyssey Tour” was officially ready for take off.

The vibe off rip felt like a good acid trip framed by their unique brand of sinister cartoon graphics. In a matter of seconds, everyone in the room knew we were about to have our faces melted. The trio's combined energy, antics and stage presence threw the room into the blender as the walls melded and ruckus ensued. A mosh pit slushed for the better half of the night, with bodies flying wildly like explosive shrapnel. Time held no meaning as State Theatre was dragged deeper into the Flatbush wormhole.

click to enlarge Erick "The Architect" Elliott, Flatbush Zombies - Brian Mahar
Brian Mahar
Erick "The Architect" Elliott, Flatbush Zombies

These dudes are the fucking TRUTH! At one point, Darko executed a front flip right into the audience, crowd-surfed around before returning to the stage, parting the venue's mass of fans straight down the middle like the Red Sea, and then set off the wall of death from the pit he'd just created. He wielded the mic like a Sith Lord’s light saber, never missing a rhyme, and revealing the difference between crowd control and crowd allegiance. They could have gotten us to do damn near anything.

Far from your stereotypical rap show, this was the future of hip-hop and we were witnessing firsthand. It was glorious. These guys are clear students of the game and paid homage to genre greats Pac, Biggie, ODB, A$AP Yams, and Capital Steez among others. Meechy, Juice and Erick kept it moving all throughout, rotating in and out to give each other extra elbow room and spotlight shine. This is a true testament to the amount of love and respect the members of Flatbush Zombies have for one another, leaving their egos at the door. The trio also understands the struggle, and reminded us that supporting grassroots art is key.

click to enlarge Zombie Juice, Flatbush Zombies - Brian Mahar
Brian Mahar
Zombie Juice, Flatbush Zombies

At the show's conclusion, Juice climbed up into the balcony and told everyone in attendance to love one another, open their minds, and get home safe.

Flatbush Zombies astral projected their way into our mind’s eye, forever branding the memory of their show into our beings and providing the ultimate inspiration for us, as artists, to stay on the grind and live passionately, because IT IS possible.

Love, DEA & SAINT

click to enlarge Flatbush Zombies - Brian Mahar
Brian Mahar
Flatbush Zombies

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