Live Review: Run The Jewels – Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA
On October 12th, Run The Jewels treated Hollywood Palladium goers with an evening unlike any other. The excitement of dedicated “RTJ” fans was palpable blocks away, as they gathered in anticipation of the iconic rap duo performing Run the Jewels 2 in its entirety. The evening marked the second of their four-night Los Angeles residency, with each night dedicated to each of their albums.
The evening started with a bang as Run The Jewels unleashed “Jeopardy.” The stage, towered by two inflatable hands (shaped as a fist and gun), mirrored the raw energy that Killer Mike and El-P consistently brought track after track. They kept the momentum going with hits like “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” and “Blockbuster Night Part 1,” drawing roaring chants from the crowd.
The atmosphere grew even more electric when El-P called for RTJ’s “third member” to join them out on stage, and outstepped Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against The Machine. Having overcome his injury from the previous year, de la Rocha’s appearance for “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” was the evening’s pinnacle. The collaboration between him and RTJ felt historic, with the crowd’s reaction solidifying the moment’s significance.
Building on this momentum, “All My Life” and “Lie, Cheat, Steal” introduced moments of introspection, showcasing the duo’s remarkable lyrical depth. The bond between RTJ and the audience was inseperable. El-P commented on how “Early” might be one of their most ingeniously penned songs, humorously adding that it paved the way for them to follow with their overtly crude song, “All Due Respect.” A track that notably is deliberate in encouraging a crowd chant of “punch him in his shit again”. A touching moment followed with the performance of “Love Again (Akinyele Back)”, a track featuring vocals from the late Gangsta Boo. Her spirit seemed to resonate within the venue, as the audience passionately echoed her verses throughout.
When El-P mistakenly declared “Crown” as the final song from the Run the Jewels 2 set, Killer Mike was quick to remind him that “Angel Duster” was still left. The audience erupted in cheers, much to the laughter of a few. The duo then informed the crowd that, after a short break, they would return to perform other Run The Jewels tracks not featured on the second album.
The encore was electrifying. The booming bass of “Run The Jewels” set the stage for other standouts like “Legend Has It” and the irresistibly catchy “ooh la la.” Run The Jewels then ushered in their second special guest of the night, DJ Shadow (who had opened for them earlier in the evening), to join them for his single “Nobody Speak” – an energetic track that echoed the crowd’s enthusiasm. El-P took a moment to honor DJ Shadow, hailing him as a legend and expressing the privilege of collaborating with him.
As “A Christmas Fucking Miracle” signaled the end of this monumental night, it was evident that Run The Jewels hadn’t just performed a show; they’d crafted an unforgettable experience.