Recap: Feel Good RVA - "Live + Let Live 2021"




KIRB'S RECAP


Maybe what had me geeked about Feel Good RVA’s “Live + Let Live” event at Main Line Brewery was the year-long drought in live music and human interaction. Maybe it was the beautiful weather in Richmond on May 17. Maybe it's because the event was free. All this factored in for sure— but nah, this was just a dope show, period.

We’ve all suffered through a “showcase” lineup that makes you question why you even bother with local hip-hop. You know the ones… where there are 800 acts jammed into a scheduled 4-hour show that starts late and the artist you came to see is on at 1 AM now instead of 10 PM, the sound is horrible, you got a couple of mumble rappers at a venue best fitted for poets or vice versa—and this ear assault will cost you $15 at the door and $8 a drink. I haven’t missed that over the pandemic. This wasn’t that though.

First of all, Main Line Brewery was the perfect venue for this event. It's easy to get to with ample parking but you still can see and feel the heart of the Fan. Its concert area, including its decks and patios, is large enough to comfortably social distance, but intimate enough to feel connected with everyone there. The space the area had easily handled lots of vendors, information booths, and side-acts like live painting. For the liquor lovers, there’s a distillery attached to Main Line called Cirrus Vodka, so the drinks were flowing and the people were happy.



Sneeze performing on stage

Courtesy of @kenkwaku.jr on Instagram/@PhotosByKenn on Twitter

The stage at Main Line looks like a giant gazebo. Once again, I thought a balance was struck at this venue between intimacy and awe. The stage is elevated to the point where it gives off stadium-tour vibes but the gazebo aesthetic is modest and familiar, giving it that laid-back neighborhood feeling. I was blown away by the sound quality. It couldn’t have been better.

The sound quality of the venue was complimented masterfully by the lineup that the Feel Good folks put together. The bill included some of the most promising young bucks on the RVA hip-hop scene like Sneeze and Smyth Knight as well as electric performances by the old guard as well including Radio B. Skuzii rocked a great set with cameos from several diverse sounds including Hampton’s Bobby Blaze. Feel Good RVA did a great job of breaking up the music from time to time and giving us some information on health and wellness from groups like Richmond Area Narcotics Anonymous and the Minority Healthcare Consortium. They also mixed in different forms of artistry like MSQ’s own Jay Guevera who kicked a couple of spoken word gems and Black Liq who delivered a moving speech about sobriety.

Karmah interacting with the community

Courtesy of @kenkwaku.jr on Instagram/@PhotosByKenn on Twitter


Congratulations to all involved in organizing this show. The hundreds of people who (safely) attended were treated to an incredible kickoff to the summer hip-hop concert season in Richmond.


My takeaways:

1) As we all know, Richmond’s rap scene is ripe with talent.

2) Feel Good RVA knows how to put together an event.

3) Main Line Brewery knows how to host one. I’m already excited for next year.



JAY'S RECAP

Being a member of FeelGoodRVA as well along with performing on the card, I was a bit hesitant to see how everything would go. I only helped out with just one or two things while the rest of the FeelGood team in Britt, Lulu, Sheedo, Tayler, and Tahmari all helped much more in their respective ways for this event. From a performing standpoint, like what Kirbs iterated earlier, the sound quality from the set was phenomenal. Probably the best sound set I ever worked with.


It was also my first time performing a major outdoor event since 2017 but not at the huge and wide land space that Mayline Brewery had. Being on the stage allowed me to scope out just how gargantuan the event was. Everyone was in their own areas either selling art, THC-infused olive oil, the different health programs, and more. The crowd noise was decent after I finished each piece but I was livid when I walked off stage and got minimal cheers. I was irate for like ten minutes and then people from all over started saying I did well. For such a huge event, it was a bit hard to gauge how much the crowd really enjoyed your set UNTIL after you finish and interact with the people at whatever area they're at. One thing that I did see was that every performer was getting their flowers in one way or another and that was super appreciative beyond measure.



Ashlee White and P rocking their set

Courtesy of @kenkwaku.jr on Instagram/@PhotosByKenn on Twitter


To see Richmond come together as a community safely because we're still in a pandemic, was beyond superb. This event made me come to life for the first time in a while as a poet because I hadn't performed for a major event since the Fall of 2019. The other poet on the card The Stuttering Poet did well, artists like Radio B, Skuzii, Smyth Knight, and recent college graduate Okay Cozy all did phenomenally. Everything came together from the vendors to the supportive health programs to even the brewery and distillery right beside the stage being fantastic. I can't thank everyone enough as a part of FeelGood RVA. This was definitely a good introduction to how the Richmond creative scene is shaping up to be in the upcoming summer. Enjoy the additional photos in the article with some faces of the community during the event and follow the FeelGood brand on all social media @feelgoodrva



One of the beautiful faces of FeelGood RVA Tahmari

Courtesy of @kenkwaku.jr on Instagram/@PhotosByKenn on Twitter



Zae Kinchen enjoying himself

Courtesy of @kenkwaku.jr on Instagram/@PhotosByKenn on Twitter



Merc sporting his Spicy Adventures apparel

Courtesy of @kenkwaku.jr on Instagram/@PhotosByKenn on Twitter



Written by Kirbs & Jay Guevara. @itsk1rbs on Instagram. @justinhisprime on all social media.




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