Allow me to take you on a journey. It all starts with a crazy curly haired girl sprinting to her minivan clutching her rose pink pashmina for warmth. For those of you who know me, you understand when I say I’m quite possibly the most directionally challenged human to exist. So while navigating a brand new state I’m fairly proud to say I only heard the GPS yell “recalculating” one time, which was shortly followed by the wonderful word “arrived”. As the tall sign came into view with black scoreboard letters displaying “RYUK, Sektah, Crowell, Bommer” I started to scream of giddiness only to realize all four windows were still rolled down; but at that point I was already screeching even louder at the venue sign to even think twice about my surroundings.
With my ID in one hand and my friend Hannah glued to my side, I could feel it in my soul that The Black Box had something special waiting for us that night. Not only was I experiencing a new venue, I was also experiencing a new perspective through my friend, because it was her first show EVER, let alone a Riddim show! Within seconds of entering the building, my eyes were drawn to a tall figure wearing a familiar shirt that read “Play Some F*cking Riddim.” The Black Box already felt like home. Booth seating was located along the right side and a rad bar with cheap drinks, ranging from only 3-7$, sat perfectly on the left. As we approached the small stage, we met some locals that were going crazy for their friend Phocused who was mixin’ with the biggest smile on his face. It was dope to feel the passion he was putting into his performance. It’s always sweet to share a connection with so many diverse people who are enticed by the same genre of music.
At this point in time I had been crazily dancing next to a dude Jordan. We got to talking and found out we both had similar pasts and found Jesus in our world of darkness. It was wild to pour out our life stories to each other in the middle of a Riddim show, while praisin’ God throughout the night. Revolutionary if you ask me! But seconds after my arm was yanked by Hannah exclaiming there was second room was to be discovered. As we swung open the black door plastered in stickers, the Riddim, really, began to explode in my face. A disco ball hung from the ceiling and 3D wall art captured my attention along with the multicolored lasers. The crowd felt perfectly in sync with each wub that echoed from the spacious stage up head; it felt as if we had entered a secret portal. We bolted in the crowd as Fort Collins’ native, Sektah, chopped and popped all over stage as fans rapidly whipped their necks to the beat of Sektah’s double drops! You could tell he was giving his all for his home state for sure.
Next up was something completely out of this world. Charlotte based heavy hitter, Crowell hypnotized us with his visuals from the start. The mosh pits came full force as he dropped “F*ck Everyone” followed by glorious air conditioning that blasted the whole room. It was a double sensation of ultimate pleasure. The crowd was having fun bouncin’ around to “WTF” as well and honestly if the night ended right there I would have been more than satisfied, but then Bommer took the stage to finish out the night with a bang. Slowly, the bass started to rumble beneath the ground around the St. Louis producer as the audience silently awaited for the madness that was about to begin. The doses of Riddim were taken to a whole new level of filth paired with gnarly space visuals. His hit singles “Wrong Whuchuu” and “Loco” were brought to life as I watched them unfold live. I remember glancing at Hannah and seeing her dreads ruthlessly whipping around as Bommer and Crowell bounced around on stage during their ferocious b2b set. She was smiling from ear to ear – at that point I gave it my all and felt the last drop of energy I had to offer leave my body.
I have never felt more alive after a show than I did that night! Even though a majority of the people I had encountered were also experiencing this particular venue for the first time, the fire lineup brought over roughly 200 fans. This is slightly larger than The Miramar located in downtown Milwaukee. I definitely recommend all fans of Electronic music to check out the Mar, if you happen to be in the area! It has a different venue set up with movie theatre style seats around the outside, but the parties there always go hard. Huge shout out to the realest Denver fam, Sub.Mission, and The Black Box for an unforgettable, ear ringing night. My neck and back are still recovering days later, but I know this little glow in my heart will last my my lifetime.
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