Lord Byron's Live Debut on Saturday Night At Index Fest Did Not Disappoint.
At the end of Lord Byron's first-ever performance, the small but entranced crowd was demanding an encore.
It was the only way Byron's set could've satisfactorily ended. Leading up to this performance at the Boiler Room as part of Index Fest's Saturday venue shows, there had been a palpable buzz brewing since we first introduced the 21-year-old rapper to Dallas back in August. Since then, local music critics from D Magazine, the Dallas Observer and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram have all backed our initial claims that Lord Byron is a uniquely talented rapper whose album Dark Arts Vol.2 is one of the best hip-hop releases Dallas has ever heard.
But, much as we in the local media may have built up an artist who had never performed in a live setting before, the artist himself didn't shy away from the anointment, either. Over the course of the past few weeks, he continued to proclaim himself the best rapper in Dallas and his album the best the city had ever heard.
Dallas' more well-known hip-hop entities surely took note of all that bombast. And they showed up en masse to the Boiler Room on Saturday to see if the rapper born Byron Neal was as good as he said he was. In attendance for Byron's debut? Noted Dallas favorites -topic, Blue The Misfit and A.Dd+, just to name a few.
And there's no doubt that Byron relished in his moment — not so much for the fact that Dallas had fully accepted him, necessarily, but for the fact that he had another opportunity for Dallas to actually hear him. Byron's greatest strength is his lyricism, and he continually made sure his audience appreciated it on this night. Several times throughout his show, while almost seeming frustrated by the lack of audience response, Byron would ask that his DJ on this night, AiR DJ of Track Meet, cut his track so he could repeat the verse a capella. And then Bryon would stun his crowd only more.
So perhaps the crowd-demanded encore wasn't surprising. But the fact that it came at his first show? Surely, that was — at least to those out in the crowd, among them Slim Gravy, who shouted approvingly , “[Lord Byron] got an encore on his first show! Swag!” when the cheers finally lowered.
But no one in the room enjoyed the performance more than Byron. As he paced the stage, supremely confident and saying he felt like he was at home, Byron reacted to his own tracks as if he were hearing them for the first time.
Only at the end of the show — after Byron conferred with his DJ, offered up one more track for the encore and finished with one last impressive, cheer-inducing a cappella — did the crowd finally feel satisfied. As Byron exited the stage, his audience greeted him off stage with adulation.
Rightly, too. It was a confident and impressive display. And Lord Byron is clearly a unique addition to the already-rich Dallas hip-hop scene.
Here's looking forward to is next move.