Okay so Weerd Science wasn’t actually the headliner. Sadistik was. But I went to three shows on this tour for the sole purpose of seeing Upgrade HipHop and Weerd Science. (And of course their wonderful DJ No Shirty Dirty.)
I gave Sadistik a chance and I wasn’t thrilled. I’d say he’s not my type of music, but generally I don’t do rap or hip hop at all, and I absolutely adore Upgrade and Weerd Science. Glassjaw Adam says he was too “trap” but I’d be lying if I said I know what that means. I’ll just go with it.
Backtrack a bit.
Weerd Science is Josh Eppard’s rap side project. Josh Eppard being the drummer for Coheed and Cambria. So of course this became another Heedventure with the crew from Denverender.
I was not familiar with Upgrade at all prior to these shows, and I had only listened to a few Weerd Science songs in an attempt to prepare myself. I mostly did this mini tour to reunite with my friends.
I headed down to Brooklyn and met up with Adam (who had traveled from DC). We walked around the area Google had led us to utterly confused because there was no venue. Eventually we saw another COTF Devin sitting outside a door. Just a door and a wall.
That was the venue.
Just a door. No sign or anything. Not sketchy in the least.
We went to find a bar before the show (there was hardly anyone besides Devin sitting outside that sketchy door) and met up with another guy I had met at the Madison Square Garden Coheed show, Sean. After a few beers, we headed back to the “venue” and met up with Dan, Max, Fen, and Kailyn.
And naturally who were they talking to outside? None other than Josh Eppard himself. I hardly even noticed him at first cuz I was too busy hugging my crew.
Dan and Max had gone to a few shows earlier in the week and they needed to stand out apparently, so clown noses and stuffed snakes were a thing.
I don’t know who the first opener was. There was a slightly different lineup at every show. But whoever he was didn’t impress me, and his performance didn’t even stick with me.
But then Upgrade came on (with No Shirty Dirty) and he blew me away. His music was fun. For someone who doesn’t generally enjoy this type of music, it was really great. And it makes sense, because he was the first ever rapper to get signed to Equal Vision Records. (Equal Vision being Coheed and Cambria’s first label. Oh yeah, and frontman Claudio Sanchez was in the audience. I was instructed not to bother him, so I didn’t.)
My favorite song was “Diet,” which No Shirty came to sing with him, with Weerd Science standing in the back yelling “Yeah!”
I went to three shows back to back to (almost) back so some of the setlists are blurring for me. There were two songs Upgrade and Weerd Science did together: “American Idle” and “Further Down the Rabbit Hole.” (Did they do both at both shows? Was it one at each? Was it “Further Down the Rabbit Hole” at all three? I can’t remember.)
Then Weerd Science took the stage, and oh my god, he was phenomenal. Again, I don’t do rap. But I was amazed at this white boy spitting out words a mile a minute. And like with Upgrade, it just sounded…fun. I was insanely impressed and loved it.
(Did I not take any Weerd Science videos this night? My bad.)
Then Sadistik came on and I listened for a bit, couldn’t get into it, and went outside to sit on the balcony with Adam and Kailyn.
I just wasn’t feeling Sadistik. His music was loud but not dancey enough, and not even all that entertaining. Dan and Max were super into it, but I just wasn’t. Not my thing.
The next day Adam went back to DC and Kailyn (who lives in Brooklyn) stayed in Brooklyn (Fen went back to his home in Jersey that night) while Dan, Max, and I headed to Connecticut for the next show and to meet up with Niki and her boyfriend John.
Again, Upgrade and Weerd Science killed it.
(Depressing lack of good videos—will make up for it with links to good music, I promise.)
I also caught one song by Mega Ran (who out of the three shows I was at, he was only at this one), which was this improvised freestyle thing which was pretty cool. He was in the audience walking around asking people to give him random objects to rap about. It was impressive, but I wish I had seen more of his set. (We may have been continually going to the bar across the parking lot to drink between sets. Whoops.)
Before Sadistik the whole crew went back to that bar again, and while I was in the bathroom I got a frantic message from our Facebook groupchat saying that Mic Todd was there. Mic Todd Coheed’s ex-bassist who robbed a Walgreens for drugs and may have conned a lot of fans out of a lot of money.
Meeting Mic Todd… Well that’s a story for a different day, children. Let’s just say that he was a very interesting character. Niki, John, and I stayed behind at the bar to talk to him the rest of the night rather than watch Sadistik, which was more than okay with me.
One quick weird anecdote: Mic got the hiccups and decided he needed to hear a story ASAP to cure them. I go, “Where’s Fen when we need him?!” So Niki starts right in in trying to re-tell a Fen story. It wasn’t the same, but it was still highly amusing.
And the whole Connecticut crew with Dirty Ern:
I spent the next day in Connecticut as well, then it was back to Boston, unfortunately alone. Dan and Max ended their mini tour, and I was left to go to the Boston show alone (aside from a few other COTF friends I knew there—another Max for instance).
My first thought at the Boston show was “Wow I miss Dan and Max.” And not for the reason you would think. Some random dude who had never even heard of Coheed and Cambria was hitting on me and my big brothers weren’t there to make me look occupied. It was weird. I wasn’t a fan.
My second thought: “Josh Eppard knows who I am oh my god oh my god oh my god.”
I saw him as I was walking toward the bar and he goes, “Hey! I didn’t know you’d be here! It’s good to see you again!” and gave me a hug. We talked for a bit, mostly about Boston and how he loves to visit, and that he liked the venue we were in (it was a pretty cool bar, not gonna lie). And then I didn’t know what else to say (Josh Eppard knows who I am. That’s cool) so I made my way to the bar.
It was another great show overall.
I noticed one song that Weerd Science dropped that night because I was looking forward to it: “10 Smack Commandments.” I asked Dirty Ern about it and he told me it was because one of the other openers had a lot of fans there that night and that they wanted to give him more time.
Oh yeah, when Weerd Science was done? Dirty Ern walks right up to me with the fur he’d been wearing since Philly and puts it on me, saying he wanted to give it to someone he felt like he knew. Honored, flattered, ecstatic even though no one really knew where that fur (“Furlicia”) had been.
And because this is a review of a string of shows and not just a recap of my amazing life, some Weerd Science songs I think you should definitely check out that I haven’t mentioned yet: “You Can’t Do That on Television,” “Conspiracy Theories,” and “Fuck You and Your Filthy A&R Dept.”
Support these two awesome artists because they’re great people and they make great music. I love small shows like this because you actually get to talk to the musicians, and it’s great to see how grateful they are to the fans. It’s a two-way street, and sometimes you forget that in huge venues.
Sometimes it takes a weird unmarked door in a sketchy looking wall to remind you.