Bulldog Alley played host to Atlanta folk sensation Faye Webster and British grime rapper slowthai for Georgetown University Radio’s winter concert last Saturday night, accompanied by Georgetown student band BOGUS!
Previously, WGTB hosted Lindsey Jordan’s solo indie rock project Snail Mail in the fall of 2018 as part of their concert series. As the student radio station has continued to put on concerts, they increasingly aim to put their pulse on the campus listener base and what acts are currently popular across campus.
Bulldog Alley is certainly more intimate and personal than acts like slowthai and Webster are accustomed to playing. The venue, which serves as the location for boxing practices and comedy shows in Georgetown’s Leavey Center, only fits roughly 100 people but was filled to the brim for this performance.
The concert began shortly after 8 pm with a performance by BOGUS!, a Georgetown student band composed of Kian Blewett (SFS ’22), Jabari Butler (MSB ’22) and Seamus Masterson (COL ’22).
(Full disclosure: Masterson serves as a staff writer for The Guide.)
With Butler absent from the performance, Blewett and Masterson graced the stage alone, playing a mix of songs from Blewett’s solo work and from the BOGUS! discography. The upbeat hip-hop based instrumentals graced by the artists were highlighted by live instrumentation from Masterson’s violin, as well as two guest performers who played the saxophone and trombone.
Folk singer Webster came onto the stage next, accompanied by her DJ and her guitar. The artist has seen her stardom rise throughout 2019 as her melancholic lyrics paired with beautiful guitar strums give her a distinct sound from much of the rest of the indie folk ecosystem.
The crowd, which was clearly geared towards a more energetic show with the following act slowthai, was showcasing almost too much energy for Webster. She commented multiple times about how much more powerful the crowd was than she was used to and how different of an environment Bulldog Alley was for her as a performer.
Nevertheless, Webster played several of her hit songs including “Right Side of My Neck,” “Room Temperature” and “Flowers” featuring Atlanta rapper Father. Her slower musical pace lulled the crowd into a sense of calm and peace rarely seen throughout the rest of the concert.
Following Webster’s eloquently, subdued set, slowthai brought the crowd’s energy up shortly after 10 p.m. beginning with a performance of his hit song “T N Biscuits.” Faye Webster’s calm, singer-songwriter musical style stood in stark contrast to slowthai’s immense energy, a juxtaposition that fostered an eclectic but enjoyable musical experience.
Immediately after this first song, slowthai removed his shirt to increase the further enhance the sense of liveliness of the concert. For much of the show, all that could be seen of the performer was his tattooed chest and his slowthai branded underwear. Slowthai ran the concert through some of his biggest songs like “Inglorious” and “Doorman” off his critically acclaimed album “Nothing Great About Britain,” released May 2019.
Slowthai has also fashioned himself into one of the most political artists coming from Britain in the last few years. Multiple times throughout the show, slowthai called upon the crowd to proclaim their hatred for President Donald Trump. He has been very vocal in his opposition to Brexit and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
During the Mura Masa produced “Deal Wiv It,” slowthai climbed on top of the speakers in Bulldog Alley, giving the crowd an unobstructed view of his shirtless, tattooed torso. He rapped the song with an immense amount of energy, rapping directly at certain members of the crowd who followed suit.
Slowthai was also masterful at engaging with the crowd. At multiple points throughout the show, slowthai would either climb on speakers, crowdsurf or instruct the crowd to act in certain ways. Toward the end of the show, slowthai made the crowd form a circle and run counterclockwise, much to their delight, and encapsulating the pure energy of the show.
The set also featured a variety of some of slowthai’s biggest feature spots. His performances of BROCKHAMPTON’s “HEAVEN BELONGS TO YOU,” on Tyler, The Creator’s “WHAT’S GOOD,” and his collaboration with Denzel Curry on “Psycho” were some of the standout moments of his set.
Many of the songs in slowthai’s set blended together in a way that showcases his stage presence as an artist. All that mattered throughout slowthai’s show is the energy and power of his performance.
WGTB’s winter concert perfectly mixed different musical styles to offer something captivating for every kind of listener, while also showcasing a burgeoning student musical act in BOGUS!