EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY (E.R.B.) well and truly lived up to the first part of their name when their maiden world tour landed in London last night (30th September) for the final U.K. date.The 600-strong sell-out (reportedly the largest crowd of the tour so far) at The Garage in Highbury were treated to an amazing show which spanned the act’s enter back catalogue from seasons 1-4.
Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD (Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist) displayed the talent and showmanship that has seen their award-winning YouTube sensation gain over 12.5m subscribers in five years. They were ably backed up on stage by E.R.B. music supervisor, playback, and audio engineer Dante Cimadamore, DJ Porchlight and support band Jackpot Golden Boys (it would be nice to see the latter appear in a future rap battle in season five given their efforts during this tour).
A staple of live E.R.B. gigs is fans getting to go on stage and perform as a character from a particular battle. This show saw four lucky fans get to be: Goku (Goku vs. Superman), Joan of Arc (Miley Cyrus vs. Joan of Arc), Albert Einstein (Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking) and the notoriously difficult William Shakespeare (Dr. Seuss vs. Shakespeare).
Other highlights of the show included: Nice Peter’s guitar playing on some tracks, EpicLLOYD crowd surfing whilst rapping, the a cappella performances of several verses of songs that didn’t quite make the set, the re-worked version of Master Chief vs. Leonidas, Peter’s London song, Peter and Lloyd splitting the crowd into two sections (Team RoboCop and Team Terminator) before playing Terminator vs. RoboCop and Zeus vs. Thor amongst the crowd itself, and perhaps most epically of all, whilst still amongst the fans they improvised a new battle: Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Eminem.
Those who have tickets for future tour dates are in for an epic night.
My own thoughts
It was well worth queuing for two hours at The Garage door because my sister and I were able to get a position right by the front barrier. We were so close to the stage that Peter and Lloyd were literally within touching distance: I was able to high-five Peter and shake hands with Lloyd mid-song.
It would have been fantastic to perform on stage, especially as Goku since I know all his lines. But alas I wasn’t picked. However, the guy who was picked did, in fairness, look more like the main protagonist of the Dragon Ball franchise than I do…and he smashed it too.
E.R.B. relies on fan suggestions for its tracks and over time my sister and I have come up with a few of our own. Thanks to our proximity to the stage I was able to hand over a list to Dante in person, so fingers crossed one of our suggestions is used in season five.
I’ve been to some memorable gigs in my time. This was one of the very best. It’s certainly in my top three.