EarthGang performed at the Knitting Factory on Friday. The $32.50 admissions fee covered a 3-hour show, including an opening performance from T.S The Solution and EarthGang classics such as “Stuck,” “Top Down” and “Proud of U.”
Although the backdrop felt artistically bare, the lighting provided ambient color palettes and the stage presence from both performances was dynamic.
EarthGang is an American Hip Hop duo from Atlanta, Georgia, featuring the artists Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot. However, they are also often referred to by their stage names Olu and WowGr8.
“Our music is influenced by the conscious and subconscious, and we create it to influence the like,” Venus said in an interview with Central Sauce in 2018.
In 2010, they co-founded the musical collective Spillage Village, with collaborations from JID, Hollywood JB, JordxnBryant, 6LACK, Mereba and Benji. According to Venus, the name EarthGang represents music for the people by the people.
At the Knitting Factory, the pair introduced themselves to the crowd in bright outfits that complimented their lighting combinations.
Venus wore a yellow two-piece set — and it didn’t take long before he threw it into the crowd. Meanwhile, Dot wore a red button-up with camouflage loose pants.
“I have never really listened to EarthGang before this,” said Sarah McMichael, a GU senior. “They were able to just engage the whole crowd during the whole concert, which was a great experience.”
When EarthGang stepped out on stage, they were determined to uplift the energy in the room. Venus was quick to make use of the elevated spaces and Dot’s microphone often gravitated towards the chimes displayed in the front left-hand corner.
With features from a live guitarist, pianist, drummer and DJ as well, their rhythms were soulful.
The group opened with “The Glow,” a song from the album GHETTO GODS which was released July 1. They continued to showcase their newest album, performing “Ghetto Gods,” “BILLI,” “AMEN,” “All Eyes On Me” and more.
Yet, EarthGang kept the set fresh with a mixture of some of their older hits. Songs like “This Side,” “1993” and “Down Bad” were nice contrasts to the newer hip-hop sounds.
According to Bryce Eppler, GU senior, the length of the show was perfect. Despite not being familiar with their new album, he was happy to hear some favorites from their third studio album, “Mirrorland,” and familiar features from Dreamville’s “Revenge of the Dreamers III.” Since it ended at 11 p.m., he felt he still had time to explore Spokane’s nightlife with his friends afterwards.
EarthGang wrapped up their set with “Up,” a song from the album “Mirrorland.” For Venus, the energetic tune is about his experience growing up in Maryland and dreaming about a future where he could make a difference, whereas Dot took the song as an opportunity to reflect upon his actions early-on in the music industry, as well as his journey to becoming a humbler artist.
“The back and forth of the crowd definitely changed how much I liked their music because I felt like they cared about their supporters and they wanted to bring them along for the ride,” McMichael said. “They created a good ambience in the room.”
Despite the duo not performing an encore, fans rushed to throw their shoes on stage — a sentiment EarthGang encouraged — sticking around to sign and return the sneakers to each fan. They chatted and took photos with attendees before swiftly leaving to prepare for their next show in Salt Lake City, UT on Monday.