After we tabbed Memphis' CITIES AVIV as our Tennessee pick in this past summer's 50 Bands 50 States feature, we were pretty excited to catch Gavin Mays' set last night at the Pour House as part of Hopscotch Music Fest. But we were bummed when it ended after only 20 minutes.
The alternative hip-hop artist has been riding high on the strength of hypnotic Shirley Bassey-sampling blog-hit “Coastin’.” Last night, a small crowd of about 10 stood at the stage, trying to mosh and shove people, and occasionally glass bottles were smashed on the ground. “I expected a very easy going, samply, brass horn section...more of a mellow feeling,” said Spencer Rabon, 23, a University of South Carolina student who added that despite being a more “up-front and confrontational” set, he still enjoyed it.
Mays' set came to an abrupt end after he held his mic out for some audience interaction. After receiving only incoherent screams, Mays threw his mic to the ground, spoke briefly to a fan, and left the stage.
“I think there are more belligerent frat guys here than they expected,” said fellow USC student Rebecca Dunn, 22. She commented that Mays seemed unhappy with the audience.
Cities Aviv's music is unique in the hip-hop world for it’s balance of catchy sample based hip-hop with moments of strong dissonance. His debut album Digital Lows came out last year, and his new album is expected soon. Mays was not available for comment, and his publicist gave no response, however his extremely short set, exit, and reaction to the audience certainly said a lot. When he performed his song, “FuckEverybodyHere,” it couldn’t have felt more appropriate or deserving.
Follow Boston Phoenix interns Nick Johnston (@onlysaysficus) and Miles Bowe (@milesbowe) on Twitter for additional Hopscotch updates and recaps all weekend long.