“Everyone take a deep breath,” exclaimed Johnny Venus as WowGr8 walked to the back of the stage to grab a bottle of water. Audience members who had just jumped frantically with the last song began to calm down and breathe with the instructions. “Everyone takes a deep breath and then exhales.”
Silence fell over the crowd at House of Blues as the two MCs, better known as Earthgang, stood center stage. Dressed simply, with WowGr8 wearing a white t-shirt and floral-print shorts and Venus in white embroidered pants and two-layer button-up shirts, the two stood still with their hands raised in front of the audience.
The duo, consisting of Olu Fann and Eian Parker, came together in high school in Atlanta due to their varied musical tastes. Since then, under their alter egos Johnny Venus and WowGr8, the two have built a solid following in the music business attracting Ab-Soul, Mac Miller, JUSTICE League, Childish Major, Bas and J. Cole. The two impressed Cole so much that they were eventually signed to his label Dreamville Records. The signing led to Earthgang appearing on the high-energy single “Down Bad” alongside J. Cole, Bas and Young Nudy on the label’s compilation album. revenge of the dreamers.
And as the opening riff of “Down Bad” echoed through the House of Blues venue, the crowd, which moments earlier had been led by soothing breathing techniques, erupted in pandemonium. Now led by an animated Earthgang, audience members jumped up and down in unison with the group while singing with the hook.
Earthgang landed at the House of Blues on Friday night and barely gave those who were there a moment to catch their breath as they perused their catalog of music. The duo delved into some of their earlier work, but spent most of the show delivering hits from their last two albums, Mirror country and ghetto gods. Fans sang as the duo went through a song list that included ‘Lie to Me’, ‘Top Down’, ‘Sacrifices’, ‘Proud of You’ and ‘American Horror Story’. For fans like Maya Johnson, the show was more than satisfying.
“Their energy is crazy,” she said with a laugh. “I love music so seeing an artist in their own element is so awesome. It’s just refreshing to see them perform.
For others, Earthgang may not have been the reason they came to the show, but things changed when the band hit the stage.
“Mike Dimes got me out. He was opening for Earthgang and he’s from San Antonio like me, so I had to come and support,” Kyle Garza said. “And Mike put on a great show. It’s the first time I see Earthgang in concert, and they were really good. It was a big show with a big crowd.