On his first-ever tour as a headliner, the 19-year-old rapper out of PG County, Maryland exuded an air of excitement that was also apparent within his young fanbase. For the first time, these fans got to see redveil as the main attraction, and he did not disappoint. From starting his musical career at 15 and cultivating an audience through his Twitter presence to gaining a burst of underground notoriety through TheNeedleDrop’s harsh criticism of his music over a livestream, and now selling out shows all under his own name, redveil’s been through quite a journey. His performance, setlist, and energy were all indicative of that journey, as he left his fans with a night to remember.
The first thing my friend Enrique and I noticed when we first entered the venue was the various random set pieces on the stage. “Are those 2.5-pound weights?” questioned Enrique. Then, it finally hit us. These props were references to his many songs: Uno for “Uno”, 2.5-pound weights for “Weight”, Campbells for “Campbell”, the Pan-African flag for “black enuff” (we couldn’t quite figure out what the dollar bills in the picture frame were supposed to represent). Before redveil could bring these set pieces to life, the openers D’Mari Harris and femdot. showcased their rapping ability to an audience that seemed to appreciate the “rappity-rap shit,” as redveil called it.
D’Mari Harris and redveil go way back, collaborating as early as 2019; so he was no stranger to the die-hard redveil fans, who showed love to the rapper throughout his set. D’Mari brought a mixture of sultry smooth tracks and high-energy bangers that thoroughly kept the audience engaged and entertained. His songs “I”, “Ride”, and “Earned It” were some of the highlights, with “Ride” prompting great engagement from the crowd as he had listeners chanting the lyrics to a song that most never listened to up to that point.
Next up was femdot., a Chicago native closely affiliated with Saba and his crew. From his very first song, femdot.’s strong stage presence was apparent. He also brought a diverse array of music with him, from songs like “Bobby Portis” that had the crowd bouncing to more introspective songs such as “Mount Olympus”. femdot. had a very emotive presence on stage, making use of hand gestures to bring his descriptive lyrics to life. He ended the set having impressed most of the crowd, including myself, with his incredible lyrical prowess and powerful live delivery of his material.
And then, it was time for redveil. Coming out the gate with “giftbag”, redveil set the tone for what was coming: a high-octane show filled with hard hitters. redveil’s sound has been mellow for the most part, that is until he dropped his EP “playing w/ fire” in April of this year. He claimed he needed something that the crowd could mosh to, and he accomplished just that with his latest release. Songs like the aforementioned “giftbag” and the JPEGMAFIA-assisted “black enuff” brought out a rager spirit among the crowd with their hard-hitting 808s and captivating choruses.
That’s not to say that redveil completely abandoned his previous style of music; he would go on to perform many throwbacks including the one that, according to him, started it all: “Soulfood”. A personal favorite of mine, “Soulfood,” was one of the first songs that gave him recognition. He seemed to be very grateful for the song, his success, and his fanbase. He would go on to perform many songs from his breakout album “Niagara” such as “Campbell”, “5500”, and the fan favorite “Weight”. The biggest highlight from the show had to be redveil conducting the crowd as if they were a choir to sing the sample from “Weight”, before dropping the song to a crowd that’s been waiting for it the whole night.
Redveil then brought on his close collaborator and opener for the show, D’Mari Harris, to perform a few of their collaborations, including “Run It Back” and “Drown”. A personal highlight of Enrique’s, “Drown” perfectly encapsulated the on-stage chemistry shared between the rappers as they performed a very intimate song together. Towards the end of the show, redveil closed strong with many cuts off of his latest album “learn 2 swim” including “automatic,” “working on it,” “sky,” and the lead hit “pg baby.” After performing his “4 FOR 4 FREESTYLE” as an encore for the crowd, he left the venue having successfully concluded his first performance in Dallas as a headliner. redveil will be back in town many more times in the future, and although his future shows might not be as intimate as this one due to his growing popularity, it’ll be very exciting to see what more he can achieve in the future given his immense potential.