Big K.R.I.T. - Trees - 2/25/12

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Big K.R.I.T. Trees Saturday, February 25

Big K.R.I.T.'s tour supporting his upcoming 4evaNaDay had longtime loyalists packing out Trees once again for Scoremore. I only caught the last few songs from Dallas-based opener Lu Sloan, but the assembled crowd was enthusiastic and responsive to clear crowd favorite, "In Luv Wit a D-Boy."

Next up, fellow local Dustin Cavazos took the stage to deliver an energetic set of confessional material. I've seen Cavazos, and I initially thought he was an odd opener for K.R.I.T. Sonically, it wasn't the easiest of transitions, but I was reminded his vulnerability and unpretentious approach have something more intellectually in common with K.R.I.T., and sometimes it's enjoyable to be a little challenged by the opening acts. Plus, DJ Q provided a fantastic buffer with a deft mix that kept bodies rocking and further enhanced the night.

K.R.I.T. delved into old cuts, current favorites and new material, clearly happy for the opportunity to finally have the spotlight focused on his full catalog. One of hip-hop's most accessible underground mixtape artists is about to make the official leap to Def Jam, and that much was clear on Saturday. More than once, during especially lively singalongs, K.R.I.T. would back off the mic, smile wide and laugh to himself for a moment, as if he couldn't believe it. For fans, it was a sweet moment that revealed the man behind this artist, who they may not get to see in such a setting again.

The last time I saw K.R.I.T., I was surrounded by superfans well-versed in his mixtape history. Scoremore did more than secure fans on Saturday, they secured the curious and the tagalongs. I would posit the two girls behind me who toasted, "To Deeeeep Ellum!" and chatted throughout the set were at their first hip-hop show and would now buy a more expensive ticket at Granada or Southside Music Hall. It was a perfect match of artist, promoter and venue.

K.R.I.T. made the most of that time, from new single "Boobie Miles" to the old "Country Shit." His set was a balance of old-fashioned fun and societal commentary, and he turned the space straight-up sacred for "The Vent." Before he closed with "I Got This," he clowned to the crowd, "I can't wait 'til to hear this in y'all's trunks!" As the beat banged, I thought to myself, "I am going to need a bigger trunk."

I hope you were there. This was one for the books. To Deep Ellum, indeed.

Personal bias: I am an obvious fan. That said, even my high expectations were surpassed.

By the way: I saw security sweep in to confiscate a blunt or 30 throughout the crowd, but the real show came when a stubborn doob would not extinguish and that security guard put it out ON HIS HAND. It was kind of hot. Related, does anyone have that security guard's phone number?

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