$UICIDEBOY$ Bring Killer Bill, Clarity to Freedom Mortgage Pavilion

           In late 2017, Stay Up covered a $UICIDEBOY$ show at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, discussing various aspects of the boys’ come ups, the rowdiness of their shows, and their possible legacy as long-time underground kings. Nearly five years later, the $UICIDEBOY$ are still at it, prolific as ever. Releasing Sing Me a Lullaby, My Sweet Temptation about a month ago, the duo has barely taken a break putting out music or touring. In fact, their Grey Day Tour series, launched a few years ago, features heavy music across the genre spectrum. This year’s leg of the tour series includes hardcore bands like Code Orange or Knocked Loose, more mainstream rap acts like Maxo Kream and Ski Mask the Slump God, as well as stars on the rise in the underground like rapper $not. The Grey Day Tour’s first stop with this lineup happened in Camden, New Jersey, just outside Philadelphia, on September 6, 2022, at Freedom Mortgage Pavilion.

            The evening started with DJ Scheme playing some of his and other’s hits to hype up the slowly gathering crowd. Next up was Code Orange, whose electronically tinged metal kicked off things with a slightly different sound than many expected. Code Orange’s front man was clearly aware of this, thanking the crowd for arriving early and rocking with them, even though this may not have been what they expected. After Code Orange came Texas’ Maxo Kream, who entertained the audience with hits both old and new. After that was another hardcore band, Knocked Loose, who asked at one point if they and Code Orange were the first hardcore bands that the audience had seen, to which much of the audience raised their hands or cheered. The cathartic performance style of the band seemed to please the ever-growing audience.

            As the sun set on New Jersey, rapper $not took the stage in his signature hoodie. His DJ played from a large set piece, designed to look like a dilapidated house with graffiti honoring the late designer, Virgil Abloh. $not used his performance time to get in the mosh pits that were forming in the audience, as well as performing in the pit. Last opener was Ski Mask the Slump God, whom the audience seemed most excited for. Other than the boys, of course. The stage was set up with, among other things, a giant millennium puzzle, modeled after Ski’s own chain, which in turn was modeled after the item of the same name in the anime Yu-Gi-Oh! Ski, as usual, played some of his own songs, as well as those of his late friends and musicians XXXTentacion and Juice WRLD. He connected deeply with the audience with those and some of his own slower songs, in addition to turning them up with hype songs.

            Before the Boy$ finally arrived, a curtain was dropped in front of most of the stage, concealing their planned entrance. When the first track off the new album’s intro started playing, everyone knew what time it was. When the beat dropped, the curtain fell, revealing the Boy$ and their DJ 30 feet in the air on a lit-up platform. The platform displayed phrases which changed throughout the night, from “$UICIDEBOYS NEVER GAVE A FUCK” to more simple phrases like “GREY 5 9 RECORDS.” The platform slowly lowered, and Scrim and Oddy stepped off. It then went back up and left the DJ suspended to spin from 30 feet up. The pair quickly went through the first handful of tracks from their new album, taking time to interact with the crowd at points in between. Most sets of the evening were fairly short, but the $UICIDEBOY$ played for about 80 minutes to the delight of much of the crowd. Plenty of mosh pits were formed by the audience and encouraged by the artists on stage, including large walls of death and circle pits.

            Things may seem to have remained much the same for Scarecrow and Ruby, but plenty has changed. When the Boys$ played the Fillmore in 2017, they were in a 2000-cap venue. Freedom Mortgage Pavilion boasts a 25,000 audience capacity, and although it was not quite a sold out show, the pit and most seats were packed, with the lawn very populated as well. The killer bill of a show, along with the growing profile of the Boy$ has helped them become and even surpass the underground kings that they were in their first handful of years on the scene. Their performance style has been established for years and does not disappoint.

           Perhaps the biggest difference, however, is that the Boy$’ mental health journey has progressed significantly. The Boy$ are sober now, an incredible accomplishment, considering the apparent hold that drugs had on both of them by their own accounts and according to the music. Before the final song, Scrim took a few minutes to speak on their mental health struggles, and revealed that about four years ago, he was in the darkest place in his life, and almost ended it all. With hard work every day, and help from the people around him, he explained that things did get better, and can for those in the audience struggling, as well. He expressed that his hope is that he and Oddy can be the spark for even just one person to keep going.

            Despite what many may consider to be a vulgar style or awful name, the $UICIDEBOY$ are role models to millions across the world. Their music has served as inspiration for so many in the industry and has been gospel to many of their fans for nearly a decade now. With many of their contemporaries fading into obscurity, or falling off in quality or quantity, the Boy$ remain as prolific and influential as ever. Look for these two to continue creating music and community for many years to come.