Best Concert

Run the Jewels at the Ready Room

Staff Pick

The most critically lauded hip-hop duo of 2014 almost didn't make it to St. Louis for its scheduled November stop at the Ready Room. The bus that held Run the Jewels, a.k.a. Atlanta's Killer Mike and New York's El-P, stalled on the side of the road in the middle of Illinois on the way to the show. Compounding matters? A long-awaited announcement from St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch ended up being scheduled for that very evening. This wasn't just any politico's press conference. The date was November 24 — and the grand jury investigating the death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown was about to release its verdict. The city braced for unrest, and many shops shut their doors. The owners of the Ready Room, however, chose to stay open. Just before Run the Jewels' engine finally restarted, El-P remarked on Twitter that the performers were likely "some of the only people trying to get in to St. Louis right now." Upon arrival, Run the Jewels performed with an intensity rarely seen in any musical act. Even as Ferguson burned and tear gas filled St. Louis streets, the duo performed a stunning, emotional set that served as an outlet for a city crying out in pain. Killer Mike, who opened the show with a tearful speech about racism and police brutality, put it best: "There's an old saying in the South: 'You got to shout to get it out.' And I'm so happy to be here in St. Louis."
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