Danny Brown Bell Stage, Quebec City QC, July 15

Danny Brown Bell Stage, Quebec City QC, July 15
Photo: Rick Clifford
Known as a loveable eccentric in the booth and onstage, Danny Brown's time in Quebec City yielded not only a look at his excellent rap mechanics, but also one at just how much a crowd's energy (or lack thereof) can impact a performance.
Strutting onstage to Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," Brown remained relatively calm in rattling off XXX favourites "Die Like a Rockstar," "Lie4" and "I Will." Bending his signature squawk around his arsenal of unique production at will, his collectedness made the verbal warping look all too easy, at times seeming disinterested in his own unflappable delivery.
For whatever reason, the crowd found it tough to muster the level of energy Brown seemed to expect from them. After bouncing through the opening with hands held high, the majority failed to fill in the rapper's punch lines on "Monopoly" and the callbacks of "Smokin & Drinkin." Even the EDM-indebted "Dip" didn't pack as much of a punch as it does with other audiences.
"Y'all some cool motherfuckers, Quebec. Especially when it's a festival with the Backstreet Boys and Pink!" he said with a cackle. The callout seemed to wake the crowded general admission section up for "Grown Up," while the same couldn't be said for the VIP section on the opposite side of the stage.
Brown then played favourites to the GA section for the rest of the evening, and rightfully so, as the festivalgoers on the other side did little to disprove his chirps. "Y'all too bougie! Get your drink, go pee, whatever," he told the group of Very Inert People. "We over here havin' fun, bitch."
With a taunting smile and wave at the VIPs from across the stage, Brown led those who were still with him through the biggest hits from his Atrocity Exhibition, nary missing a word. However, he didn't leave without taking it upon himself to restart his verse on Rustie's "Attak" twice over, the crowd energy not quite high enough for him to feed off.