by Andrés López
City Morgue has been making waves these past couple of years, emerging as one of the leading artists in the trap metal subgenre of rap. Ever since I was introduced to their unique fusion of rap, punk, and metal in 2018 with their debut album City Morgue Vol 1: Hell or High Water, I wanted to see them live. I was finally able to realize my dream at Paradise Rock Club, a relatively small and intimate venue.
The first opening act for the duo was Kuttem Reese, a Floridian rapper who brought great energy and had a strong stage presence. I unfortunately did not get to see his full set, as I was admitted into the venue in the middle of his performance. I found myself bobbing my head to his songs as I assembled my camera despite being completely unfamiliar with his music.
The next opener was an artist by the name of N8NOFACE. To say the bald-headed, mustache-donning man’s set was interesting is an understatement. He was on stage by himself with nothing but a Roland SP-404A sampler. He pressed some of the buttons to get an electronic punk beat going and proceeded to scream his lungs out in a strange but compelling performance. N8 was all over the stage. He threw himself on his knees, pulled his shirt over his head, and pretended to hang himself with the cable of his microphone, all in one opening set. The audience was into it and reciprocated the energy with multiple people crowd surfing during his set. I loved his energy and the ambiance of the venue during his set.
As the stage was being set up for City Morgue to perform, I guess I got distracted, because the next thing I knew, ZillaKami and SosMula were literally right in front of me. It was a surreal experience not only seeing a group I had been listening to for years, but also having the opportunity to be in the press pit behind the rail. SosMula came out wearing a ski mask along with furry Rick Owens boots while ZillaKami was not wearing any shoes at all, which I found funny.
In terms of the set itself, it was awesome. There were plenty of highlights, such as them playing the entirety of their latest album, TOXIC BOOGALOO, throughout the set. They also played their three big hits from Hell or High Water: “Sk8 Head”, “SHINNERS13”, and “33rd Blakk Glass”, which were crazy to see live. “Gravehop187” was the only other song from Hell or High Water that was played, a song that I was really looking forward to seeing live. The two songs they played from City Morgue Vol 2: As Good as Dead were “NECK BRACE” and “DRAINO”. I actually enjoyed hearing these two songs live more as opposed to the studio versions because of the great energy from both City Morgue and the crowd. Additionally, the ZillaKami solo song “FROSTY” was the only song from their recent solo records that ended up on the setlist.
I absolutely loved the show and how the duo interacted with the crowd. They would constantly ask the crowd to open up the pit so that they could mosh to the bangers that they were performing. They would also ask if the crowd was tired yet so that they could show how much moshing they had left in them. During the few intermissions, the DJ would play music, notably “Chop Suey!” by System of a Down, which the crowd loved.
After closing the show with “YAKUZA”, ZillaKami thanked the crowd for a great show. Seemingly not content quite yet, the crowd started to chant “one more song!” for a few minutes before finally giving up on the encore. The City Morgue fanbase is dedicated and I am glad I was able to experience the very first show of the Bottom of the Barrel tour with them. Since the show, the duo have released a single titled “WHAT’S MY NAME” from their highly anticipated album City Morgue Vol 3: Bottom of the Barrel, which I am looking forward to. Overall, I had a great time and am excited for their future work.