Experts in party rocking, the Bad Rabbits delivered the goods
to a geeked out (and sold out) New Year’s crowd.
The Bad Rabbits are punk-funk virtuosos, but their main talent is pretty simple: they rock parties.
They’re chameleonic performers, controlling the crowd like true MCs.
With a sold out house full of New Year’s party people waiting hungrily, Brighton Music Hall was primed for a proper barnstormer from Dua and the boys. On the heels of a banner year with new records in the works and promising collaborations, it was high time for a hometown throwdown.
But before the Rabbits could take the stage, the crowd needed to post up and get appropriately rowdy.
As an appetizer, the DJ dropped Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle” and a slew of other bangers, jacking up the energy.
The first opener—Herra Terra—brought synth-pop glam to an otherwise hip-hop flavored lineup. With a stage presence more strut than swag, Herra was definitely the outlier of the night.
The next group, three whippersnapper MCs from Dorchester called Studio Heat, got the crowd truly turnt up. The oldest member couldn’t have been more than 16. More party rhymes than lyrical gems, these kids astounded with their Treacherous Three shtick and palpable passion.
A little before 11:30, the Rabbits stormed the stage. They launched into “We Can Roll,” ratcheting up the energy in the time it takes to kick a bass drum. Dua’s vibrant threads and flipped up Mishka hat brim epitomized the band’s presence—the look said, “We’re here to rock out, and we don’t give a fuck.” Basically, the band’s mantra made into a striking fashion statement.
After a brief and surprising tease of De La Soul’s “Me Myself and I,” they segued into “Neverland,” arguably their most famous jam.
Sheel and Graham, the drummer and bassist, were locked into an airtight groove that lasted throughout the night.
The exuberant chorus—“NO! I’ll never grow up!”—had a special zeal on Monday night. New Year’s Eve always brings out the inner Peter Pan.
As the clock approached midnight, the Rabbits tore through “Doing It,” a new jam produced by B. Lewis. Once the clock hit 11:58, the band paused to countdown with the crowd. Multicolored balloons fell from the ceiling, bringing a bit of Times Square to Brighton.
Back at it, the Rabbits teased Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” to give 2013 a funky start. Mid-song, a drunk dude crept on stage, only to get shoved by Dua back into the crowd. Things got awkward when the kid’s friends didn’t catch him, but he was fine.
The highpoint of the evening came from a cover. The band asked peeps online what song they should do, and thankfully the answer was “1979.” The Smashing Pumpkins’ cool kid anthem never had this much soul.
Rounding out the night with staples like “Advantage Me” and “Stick Up Kids” kept the momentum churning, finishing with a flourish.
At one point, Dua gave the crowd a shout out. “2012 has been a crazy year—thanks for putting us on your backs and reppin’ us.” The Boston scene would starve if bands like this didn’t bring the flavor.
Thanks for not faking the funk.