Schaffer the Darklord’s Headlining Night
During 2020 and into 2021 musicians performing livestreams were the place where many of our favorite musicians went. They were my go-to for catching music while safely quarantining at home. One of my regular streams was the monthly Four Eyed Horsemen streams. I could always depend on the four staples of it, Schaffer the Darklord, Mega Ran, MC Frontalot, and MC Lars, to perform once a month through that time. They always brought on a guest to open and for one of those was my first time watching and hearing Lex the Lexicon Artist. I loved the performance that I immediately bought her Alter Ego album and started anticipating the day I could watch her perform live. That day has come with Schaffer the Darklord’s tour bringing Lex the Lexicon Artist as his tourmate and the returning to Phoenix artist Super Smack and the P.O.P on top.
Up first was the now once again local Phoenix musician and his dance crew, Super Smack and the P.O.P. Super Smack once from Phoenix has returned after living out in New York for a while. He explained how he was so happy to be playing this show with friends that were once his neighbors with Schaffer and Lex. Additionally, there was a point that Lex joined him on stage for a song.
Now everyone in Nerdcore puts their own stamp and angle on it, so for Super Smack think nerdcore hip hop with pop music and an occasional dance crew behind. He pushes positive messaging with songs about embracing being cute and dancing with a backpack to a song about the booty. These songs and others drawing crowd participation singing along. His last song was a wonderful play on words about grinding on you like an RPG with two of the dance team members wearing red and blue Switch Joy-Con costumes. These are relevant as before this Super Smack has made a reputation for himself with those iconic Joy-Cons and the Switch. You might even notice the red and blue worn through his set. Watching Super Smack and the P.O.P. was a fantastic time that I plan to go catch again and again.
In the middle was that act I’d only seen on a livestream until this night, Lex the Lexicon Artist. She is full of personality and charismatic. There is an unabashed personality to her on stage with songs that reinforce it. Especially noted on songs like “Hotel Beds” and “Fuck Nerds” she performed from her latest full album Lex In the City. This was an album she said she challenged herself to write in about a week and that was the self-expression that came out.
Early on in Lex’s set, she used a wonderful introduction song and went into great for an additional set kick off with the ego expression song of “I Know.” We had Schaffer show off his drumming skills for a track behind her and then jump on the mic for a duet. Lex treated the audience to two songs from her upcoming release inspired by Attack on Titan. She closed on a song many could relate to with the “Artist Anthem” that she recently redid this year. Lex did not disappoint and only reinforced why she is super rad to watch her live performance.
Then it was time for Schaffer the Darklord, STD for short, to headline this show. The significance being that this is his first headlining tour. He began saying he had to finish getting dressed, pulling out the iconic black rubber gloves and slowly putting them on until a final snap into place on each hand. This persona is part of what adds to the charm of his performances. Another example of this was later in the set when Schaffer touched on his responsibilities as a headliner of a tour and that he would begrudgingly embellish us with a song combining three of his most requested. In each transition his face would show the agony caused to him having to sing these songs.
In this set, there were songs like the one Schaffer boasts his cleanest, “Do Sex,” because there aren’t any actual swear words in it. The drum kit showed off his multifaceted skills as he rapped and drummed a track. He brought up Lex to do his song “The Other Devil,” about Popeye. A song he explained that was written as a duet and said Lex suggested it as a song to play and learned for this tour. When it came to closing it out, he went with his song “Cat People.” It is a perfect song for getting the crowd to move doing cat motions to the choruses of the song. Schaffer the Darklord is one of the best at his craft and with it on full display this night, he capped off a top to bottom amazing night of music at Last Exit Live.