BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (LOCAL) - 2008
Doomtree Blowout at First Avenue
There are but a handful of local acts capable of overfilling First Avenue, that cavernous oubliette capable of swallowing our Turf Club heavyweights in a single gulp. There are even fewer that can whip a capacity crowd of 1,500-plus into a unified feeding frenzy. Doomtree is our most weathered and treasured hip-hop collective, and the group's second year on the big stage found its members reaffirming themselves as the pride of the Twin Cities music community in an exhaustive set. Those intrepid enough to muscle out a standing-room spot near the stage paid dearly for it in sweat and raised hands, but Doomtree supplied more than enough contingency plans for the more retiring, reflective attendees. Prior to the show, local doom-metal two-piece Gay Witch Abortion entertained the serpentine ticket line from the back of a van, while Roma De Luna set up near the upstairs bar, entrancing the battered and bruised with melodic but unflinching poetry. It's not just the length and breadth of Doomtree's collaboration, nor the obvious thrill they draw from performing, nor their bold eagerness to cross-pollinate with local acts that make Doomtree such a precious, communal commodity. It's the fact that they, in all their brilliance, are ours, and that the earnestness with which they devote themselves to their craft and their crowd are force enough to make every last back-row straggler feel like a formative and indispensable participant.