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Skizzy Mars Red Balloon Tour Sells Out Chicago

Skizzy Mars performing "Be Lazy" at Subterranean

Skizzy Mars' sold out show on March 7th at Subterranean in Bucktown was the legendary high school party I was never invited to. 

Subterranean is one of my favorite venues, so I was excited to return for the first time in a few years. While waiting in line, I could already tell I was in for a night as I watched a 17-year-old boy fall over drunk and argue with concert security about calling an ambulance. I got to watch quite a few high schoolers stumble out of the venue before I even got inside. This review is for them: the under-aged drinkers who didn't get to make it to Skizzy's set. 

I chose to stand on the second level in hopes of getting better pictures and to avoid the massive, sweaty pit of high schoolers. It turns out I made the right choice: I got to watch Skizzy (whom I conducted an interview with last week) snap pictures with a few lucky fans before his show. 

Prelow, the opening duo from New York City, introduced themselves by saying, "We like to smoke weed sometimes and make music." Perhaps this is why Jesse Aicher, the vocalist, rocked a pair of Ray Bans despite the dark venue up until the last song of their set. Their final song, "I Don't Wanna End The Night," was my personal favorite with its tender vocals and electronic beats. Unfortunately, this song is not included on Prelow's Why Does Everything Happen So Much EP, but my other favorite performance, "Mistakes Like This," is their biggest hit with over 400,000 plays on Spotify. They are definitely a band to watch. Check it out below. 


After Prelow left the stage, DJ Swizzymack spun remixes of familiar hits while Skizzy's tour manager took care of some mic checks. Swizzymack got the crowd turnt with remixes of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," Zedd's "Clarity," and Calvin Harris' "Sweet Nothing," complete with some short-lived crowd surfing. 

Perhaps one of the highlights for the crowd was when Swizzymack asked to "get some girls on stage" and had the group of 15+ high school girls who managed to climb their way onto the stage twerk for the audience. This was undoubtedly one of the best memories of the night for the high schoolers in the audience, but it made me incredibly uncomfortable, which, in turn, made me feel ancient at only 19 years old. 

Finally, Skizzy Mars descended the iconic spiral staircase on the corner of the stage to the pounding beats of his favorite rapper's newest hit, "All Day." The crowd went absolutely nuts, including myself, a huge Kanye and Skizzy fan. He then began his set with "Monica Lewinsky," one of my personal favorite collaborations from Skizzy, G-Eazy, and KYLE. He then went into a short monologue about how using drugs was the "Way I Live," leading into his 2014 hit. 

The chill vibes of Skizzy's music were appreciated after the insanity of Swizzymack's set, but I was disappointed when he cut the performance of my favorite song short when he decided the crowd wasn't quite turnt enough. Of course, the crowd went absolutely insane for his huge hit, "Be Lazy," where he danced with and kissed a girl (girlfriend?) who had been standing on the side of the stage. This performance was arguably the best of the night. The girl standing next to me and I shared a laugh when Skizzy told the crowd they were the best on the tour so far and they went crazy. And of course, being a huge Cubs fan myself, I couldn't have been more thrilled than when Skizzy lost his purple sweatshirt for a Cubs t shirt. This 21-year-old rapper may be young, but he definitely knows how to cater to his audience. 

Overall, The Red Balloon Tour was a great time, but I expect that it will only get better as the tour continues. If you weren't already planning on attending when Skizzy comes to your city, I'd recommend grabbing tickets, especially if you're in high school and are ready to turn all the way up. 


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