By Eli Schoop, Copy Editor
Usually, before a show, there’s some mild preparation: Freshen up, put on a clean fit, eat and drink, a reliable cycle before getting lit with friends. My preparation before Lobsterfest was hanging out with the headliner, one Milo from Milwaukee, aka Rory Ferreira. It’s a pretty cool sight when an internationally-known performer is chilling in your friend’s house shooting the shit and commenting on Adam Sandler movies. Who, by the way, Ferreira has met before, as he went to the same high school. Apparently, everyone in Manchester, New Hampshire is friends with Sandler and he’s an extremely nice guy. This kind of enjoyable dialogue was par for the course in hanging out with the 25-year-old rapper, and it encapsulated everything good about the first day of Lobsterfest 2017.
Despite being flanked by college kids playing Super Smash Bros, Ferreira appeared comfortable. He’s naturally charismatic, soft-spoken but with a wealth of knowledge and a streak of insightful, funny comments on random topics in conversations. Describing the nuances of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, people getting Zordon confused with Dr. Zaius from the infamous Planet of the Apes Musical in the Simpsons, old WWE Smackdown on the WB featuring Mr. Kennedy, these types of bizarre segues provided moments where it wasn’t a musician and some fans, just a couple of dudes kicking it before a concert. We personally talked about tenets of blackness and growing up in a hostile world, something that Milo takes an initiative in trying to dismantle. When the topic of Denzel Washington in Fences came up, I lamented how violent his character was towards his progeny, and that black fatherhood is similarly malicious at times. Milo responded by saying that his grandfather is only 63 but has seen lynchings and that the shared trauma from those moments seeps into their consciousness, so to criticize older black people for being stern lacks perspective. This level of perception towards historicized issues and cultural ubiquity is reflected in Ferreira’s art, and it just made me respect him that much more.
Once at the show, there was a veritable anticipation for Ferreira’s performance. The Union was jam-packed, and people I hadn’t ever seen before were at the front of the stage. Later, I learned that there were those who drove in just to see Ferreira (“this was the only other tour date in the U.S. besides Philly!”), and I realized the show meant a great deal to many in the audience. Of course, Ferreira fed off this energy. He was funny, caustic in an endearing way (roasting a dude who brought his dog – seriously bro, not cool), and performed with energizing passion. Both those who didn’t know any of the lyrics and those who knew every word left completely satisfied, and that kind of dichotomy suited the effervescent personality of the headliner.
Ferreira remained with my friend group after the show, which was pleasantly surprising. Most of the low-key afterparty was just watching music videos, suiting him just fine. He talked about being a new parent, and how he enjoyed being a dad. It was a cute moment from a guy boasting on stage just hours ago, but maybe shedding the demeanor of a rapper and becoming a family man is what gives Ferreira some of his boundless enthusiasm. Having not listened to much of his music before, the whole night made me understand completely the cult fanbase Ferreira has cultivated. You don’t have to hang with him to be struck by the charisma he exudes, and this is apparent from how warmly received his projects have been. So here’s to you Rory; thanks for being a pal, and from all of us at ACRN, we hope you enjoyed Athens.
You can see more photos from night one of Lobsterfest here.