People Under the Stairs / Notes to Self El Mocambo, Toronto ON August 13

Double K, makes up one half of L.A. based hip-hop outfit People Under the Stairs. He has a simple philosophy when it comes to live performances — "The best crowds make the best shows” — and that is why he felt that his group’s gig at the El Macombo had the best energy of the ten show they had played so far on a 17-date tour with Colorado’s FloBots. By the time the People Under the Stairs made the stage, the building was sold out and sweltering. The other half of the group, Thes One, was the first to emerge with a video camera in hand to document the boisterous scene, prior to the duo opening with "Step In” from their Stepfather LP. From that point on the crowd never let up culminating in a raucous reception for their second and third last cuts, "San Francisco Knights” and "Acid Rain Drops.” The two even brought out a local connection, Odel (the drummer for Messenjah), to reprieve his singing role in "O.S.T. Original Soundtrack.” With the fan base chanting "People! People!” Double K and Thes One came back for two encores, the first being "Time to Rock Our Shit” and the finale "The Next Step II,” which after it was performed saw Thes One lay flat on his back in exhaustion backstage. The crowd had been prepped with an opening set by Toronto’s own Notes to Self, and it was everything an opening set should be: short and sweet with no filler. Sound Crew Circle Research were also on the bill, and they served up grade-A hip-hop cuts between sets rounding out the night’s warm vibes.