Written by Dana Haj-Ali
Chop Suey was the place to be on August 11th. The beloved Capitol Hill venue housed RATED for the second consecutive month last Friday—the new monthly musical dance party devoted to showcasing live talent from across the city. This month’s lineup brought in the talents of Paris Alexa, Romaro Fransceswa, Dave B, and our very own Justin Hartinger—all artists who have collaborated through the years and therefore featured on each other’s sets throughout the night. Hartinger wasn’t the only Big Slide artist in the building—Yohiness was back on the mic once more, bringing his signature energy and hype.
Hartinger opening up RATED was the perfect start to an unforgettable night. Having filled the dance floor in the early hours of the night, Hartinger set the mood with an alluring setlist rich in unreleased music and a few surprises. Having just debuted his new track “Wait For You” on RECESS VOL. 1, Hartinger gave the audience a taste of Big Slide Records with a dazzling live performance of the track featuring its vocalist, AllA. In addition to this, he also made sure we got to vibe to the VIP of “Selfish,” another one of his recent releases featuring Ariana DeBoo and Spencer Shangrow. Hartinger knew how to engage the growing crowd, keeping them swaying, dancing, and twirling.
As the night went on the crowds only continued to pour through the doors. After Hartinger had wrapped up his time on stage, ParisAlexa blessed us with her silky voice and mesmerizing stage presence. ParisAlexa played her own tracks live using a loopstation and at one point during her set even had the crowd throw out three random words for her to build into an improvised track. From beginning to end the performance was completely captivating to watch and provided absolute ear candy.
Following ParisAlexa, Romaro Franceswa took the stage and dominated—it was a must see. With Hartinger lending a hand on the decks to keep the tracks flowing, the combination of Romaro's original music and his captivating bravado was enough to make the crowd go wild. Opening with “Never Been Late” which features both ParisAlexa and Ariana DeBoo, the rapper’s performance ranged from a heart warming performance of “No No No” with DeBoo to shaking the entire venue with the intense hip-hop sound of “Right Now.” At one point he moved the show off the stage, having the crowd circle him on the dance floor, and spit bars inches from the face of his fans. Just when the crowd thought it was over and Hartinger was just DJing between sets, the intro to “Terra Cotta,” a collab between Hartinger and Franceswa released on BSR earlier this year, could be heard over the speakers sending the crowd into a tizzy and what ensued was an impromptu live performance of the track.
Finally, Dave B came out and blew the roof off of Chop Suey with a performance so intense you could literally feel it throughout the venue. The artist brought his A game from the minute he took the mic and made sure he left it on stage, proving why so many people are saying he’s going to be the next big thing out of Seattle. The crowd was in awe. People were bumping, grinding, and singing along to his lyrics for the entire set, which included “Only,” his track with Romaro Franceswa that dropped just about a week before.
To be honest, it’s still hard to believe that tickets were only $5. If you didn't make it out to RATED to see all these artists perform—you missed out on an amazing night. Each artist was incredible individually but having them perform back to back and on each other’s sets was infatuating.
Written by Dana Haj-Ali
Photos by Seattle Peach // Brooklyn Benjestorf