The 2019 edition of Red Bull Music Festival in New York continued with performances by two Baltimore acts, Abdu Ali and JPEGMAFIA, at Elsewhere in Brooklyn on Wednesday, May 8th. The sold out show titled, “JPEGMAFIA: A Tribute to Buttermilk Jesus” featured two stages, with Abdu Ali performing with a backing band (of a keyboardist, saxophone player, and drummer) on Elsewhere’s usual stage and JPEGMAFIA (or Peggy for short) performing on another set up on the venue’s floor.
Doors for the show were at 8PM and when I arrived shortly before that time, the line for entry extended down the block and around the corner. Once inside, many fans took up spots around the perimeter of the stage that Peggy would perform on so I did the same thing too.
Abdu Ali began the show at 9PM performing songs from their newest album, FIYAH!!!, spending a bit of time in the audience as well as on stage. Ali was joined by Butch Dawson to perform “Hype Beast,” and encouraged much participation from those watching their set on the floor. During one song, Ali encouraged women to come to the front and dedicated another song to those who were oppressed.
Peggy arrived on the second stage and immediately launched into songs from his excellent Deathbomb Arc release, Veteran. He launched himself into the crowd during the first song, managing to lose his shoe in the process. After losing one piece of clothing, he jumped into the crowd from another side of the stage and lost his headband during the following song. He joked that New York was exposing his hairline and thankfully, both items were returned. He needed assistance starting songs on his laptop on stage so he enlisted a security guard who was standing near the stage’s stairs to perform this task not once, but twice. Performing songs such as, “Baby’ I’m Bleeding,” “Puff Daddy,” “Real Nega,” felt like the entire room was singing along. Towards the end of his set, he announced that he’ll be performing the next song live for the last time in a long time, which ended up being “I Cannot Fucking Wait Until Morrissey Dies.”