Russ’ first headline show in New York City brings raw energy and killer hooks to Webster Hall.
Playing to a strikingly young crowd, Russ stormed the stage at his sold-out show at Webster Hall on Tuesday night. After a pseudo-play of Drake’s latest hit “One Dance,” Russ’ entrance cut the track short, opening with his most popular song, “What They Want,” giving the audience, well, exactly what they wanted.
Hailing from Atlanta, Russ’ energy on stage appeared as a raw mix of feisty and grateful, wild and compassionate. Following his first track, he stopped to tap into his fans in the front row and throughout the night, he regularly reached out to the audience, sharing personal anecdotes for individual songs and offering advice to fans so they don’t “fuck up” in the same ways that he did.
During his epic 24-song set-list, Russ’ crew was right behind him, calling on the crowd to make some noise, spinning tracks and supporting the artist’s performance. In the same way, Russ’ fans sang along with every song, from hits like “Do It Myself” to his slower, softer tracks such as “Losin’ Control.” For Russ’ encore, both audience and crew combined, with almost a dozen members of his entourage flooding onto the stage, completely raging to Russ’ music and feeding off of his relentless energy.
At one point in the night, during his performance of “Let Me In,” Russ shut down the show and brought up the lights, much to the crowd’s confusion. His reason? A fight had broken out near the stage.
“Why are you fightin’ at a show when the person next to you has a common denominator?” Russ called out, following the removal of the hostile audience members, “you’re groovin’ to the same fuckin’ music.”
Holding up the show, Russ spoke with members of the audience to figure out what exactly happened.
“Those negative ass people trying to fuck up a good night…are you all good over here? Are you good?”
Without prompt or hesitation, the crowd kicked off a call and response with Russ, hollering,
“Russ is the wave, Russ is Tsunami!”
The artist smiled and thanked them, picking up a new track and setting the night’s vibe back on course.
Exhibiting influences from artists such as Eminem and 50 Cent, along with beats that match anthems across genres, from Hip Hop to R’n’B to Reggae, Russ has a clear, set position in the music industry, meaning: his beats are catchy as hell and he’s an artist who’s not holding back, consistently delivering honest, hard-hitting lyrics recorded over tracks often loaded with staccato snares and heavy bass. In combination with Russ’ dedication to good energy, this yields to an incredible, high-energy performance and yet, Russ still has room to grow (and rightly so).
His first headline show brought out a young crowd but one that is markedly loyal and dedicated to the artist. As Russ grows, the crowd will grow with him, following him every step of his bright career.