Four Fists threw a party Tuesday, October 8 at Triple Rock Social Club and though it was billed to support their new 7-inch, it felt like instead it might’ve been for the end of the world.
A boarded up federal government. Politicians shouting at each other down hallowed halls, throwing apocalyptic spin into the Twitterverse. Tuesday, all the news that’s been fit to print recently, seemed like an appropriate backdrop to the combined catalogs of the duo making up Four Fists—Astronautalis and P.O.S—as well as this new project, the double-headed group named for an F. Scott Fitzgerald story, the Minnesotan who wrote so often about the excesses and downfall of the Gilded Age.
Though their 80-minute set was bookended by the two tracks from their new 7-inch—“Please Go” and “Mmmmmhmmmmm”—the night was a collection of both artists’ previous efforts, selected and spun at whim by DJ Fundo, often catching the two emcees off guard. It was fun and irreverent and often devolved into silliness borne from genuine friendship.
When the smartly dressed Astronautlis begged to catch his breath after a taxing opening run, P.O.S cracked, “Maybe you should untuck your shirt so you can breathe.”
The banter, DJ Fundo’s improvised setlist, and the smallness of the Triple Rock—particularly when compared to the release for P.O.S’s We Don’t Even Live Here—made it feel more house party than spectacle. They weren’t leaning over the crowd from up on First Avenue’s four-foot ivory stage. Astronautalis and P.O.S were standing on your parents’ coffee table shouting “Fuck Your Stuff.”
It was fun to finally see them work through collaborations from their solo records, like P.O.S’s “Wanted/Wasted” and Astronautalis’s “The Story of My Life.” Or add backing aggro to singles off their recent albums. DJ Fundo kept balance between Astronautalis’s penchant for epic-toeing-melodrama storytelling and P.O.S’s singular and often nihilistic anthems.
For the young, sold-out crowd, clearly the guys are heroes. But it was those tendencies in their individual work, finally fused together in the Four Fists project, that seemed to tap into something larger. The GOOD v. EVIL battles scrolling down Facebook feeds and across the bottom of TV screens—the countdown to meltdown—and whether there’s an answer to any of it when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Whether it’s just all bad. Whether we’ve already careened off the cliff and it’d be best to just enjoy the fall while it lasts.
And it was easy to do so the whole night, because the lesser-known support for Four Fists was also impressive. The remarkably talented, if still earning his stage legs, Allan Kingdom, followed by GRRRL PRTY, a Twin Cities hip-hop crew who are sassy, hilarious, and aggressive—summed up in their presser as “swagger.” I often found myself on my heels, leaning back as if bracing against a powerful wind—the push of superb talent, neck-snapping beats, and impeccable delivery. To this point I’d missed them live. That, which is clear to me now, was stupid. The second installment of their Icehouse residency is tonight, October 9.
For the second last song of the night, P.O.S called from backstage “the prettiest dude in the room” and out popped Mike Mictlan to support on him on “Get Down.”
Together, while whatever was happening outside or across the country dragged on, the crowd bounced with a multitude of fists, shouting, “I don’t wanna think about it, I just wanna get down.”
“Please Go” (Four Fists)
“Home Made Hand Gun” (P.O.S)
“The River, The Woods” (Astronautalis)
“Dimitri Mendeleev” (Astronautalis)
“Drumroll (We’re All Thirsty)” (P.O.S)
“The Story of My Life” (Astronautalis)
“Midday Moon” (Astronautalis)
“Lock-Picks, Knives, Bricks and Bats” (P.O.S)
“Two Years Before the Mast” (Astronautalis)
[Unknown New Song] (Astronatalis)
“Fuck Your Stuff” (P.O.S)
“All of It” (P.O.S)
“Trouble Hunters” (Astronautalis)
“Get Down” (P.O.S)
“Mmmmmhmmmmm” (Four Fists)