Killer Mike Republik, Calgary AB, June 19

Killer Mike Republik, Calgary AB, June 19
Photo: Steve Louie
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By the time Killer Mike hit the stage on night two of Sled Island in Calgary, more than a few members of the Republik audience were caught yawning. It'd been a long day of free shows, local showcases and patio beers after a break in the heavy rains from the first day and a half of the festival. But as soon as Killer Mike began his first rhymes, backed by DJ Trackstar, the crowd was re-energized and ready to go. An enthusiastic presence up on stage, Killer Mike brought some Georgian hospitality to his show, calling out to the crowd to get involved in sing-alongs and call-and-response rhyming.

Although his stage show was sparse, just him and Trackstar banging out some of his best cuts from his now-extensive discography, Mike made a show of it, dancing and getting the crowd pumped up with his infectious positivity. Two of his biggest anthems, "Run the Jewels" and "Reagan," with the rattling chorus of "Fuck Ronald Reagan," got the best response of the hour-long set. Despite a great performance, Killer Mike did appear to be a little off at times, perhaps worried about his wife who he said had come down with food poisoning right before he left Atlanta. Still, between his artist talk earlier in the afternoon at a local DJ school and a rousing headlining performance, he did himself proud once again.