Concert Review: Empancipator @ The Rex Theater, 1/26
Around 9 pm, fans began flocking to The Rex Theater in the Southside to see Emancipator on his return to Pittsburgh. Emancipator, or Douglas Appling, is a trip-hop artist from Portland. He’s often accompanied by violinist Ilya Goldberg, whose melodies complement Emancipator in a very unique and enticing style. Opening for Emancipator was Tor followed by Eliot Lipp.
Compared to last year’s show, the openers for Emancipator were a bit of a let-down. Tor began with chill beats that left the crowd anticipating a battle. At this point, I was expecting the next artist to build onto Tor to create a smooth transition into Emancipator. Eliot Lipp was nothing like I was hoping for. Instead of chill, ambient electronic music to lead into Emancipator’s instrumental, hip-hop sound, Eliot Slipp brought an overly dub-induced, club set. The tween crowd that was at this all ages show got really into Eliot Slipp and gloved up a storm.
Finally, Eliot Slipp turned off his music and the stage was set up for Emancipator. Emancipator came out accompanied with Goldberg. The duo got right down to business, ready to play music for the excited crowd. Emancipator played his classics from his “Remixes” along with his notable “Shook” mash-up of Sigur Ros and Mobb Deep. He even played his new single “Minor Cause” from the album “Dusk to Dawn” that was newly released on January 29th. At the end of his hour and fifteen minute long set, Emancipator and Goldberg were easily prompted to do another twenty minute encore by the roaring crowd at the Sold Out show at The Rex.
Aside from the tweens hardcore making out to my right, Emancipator put on a phenomenal show. He has come a long way as an artist since his 2012 show in Pittsburgh.