Edmonton, AB – In this Western capital, diversity and talent came together Saturday night at the Brixx Bar and Grill. The Mad Hatter Art & Music Festival put on a benefit concert to showcase some of Edmonton’s hip-hop talent at Hip-Hoperation. The lineup included The Mighty Alliance, Corvid Lorax, Grizzly Adams Apple and even a performance by graffiti artist Lorien Maheu who worked on live art during the show, but it was made apparent that the show was stoken by headliners Politic Live.
In a dim room, red lights highlighted the performers on stage. With each strong performance, the energy kept rising, but there was a feeling of restlessness in the room. When Politic Live – Rohan Grimez Mani, Arlo Maverick, and Dirt Gritie – appeared on the stage, the crowd swelled in front of them, and any anxiousness from before was gone. Song after song, Politic Live delivered a sound that was energetic and fresh and it kept building as they performed. In “The Fire” by The Roots featuring John Legend, they say: “One love, one game, one desire, one flame, one bonfire, let it burn higher.”
These words sum up the Politic Live experience from that night – a lot of love that kept growing for the group’s music. Listening to them, it was easy to understand why the audience had built such anticipation. They understood their songs because their lives were featured in them; hip-hop and Politic Live belonged to the audience that night. As feet danced, hands eagerly waved in the air, and mouths rhymed along to verses from songs like “Pusha Man” and “Throwback”, this point was very clear. “We take a lot of pride in our city…there’s a lot of stories [about Edmonton] that aren’t being told,” says Arlo Maverick, the group’s frontman. Politic Live left a feeling in the room long after they finished their set, a desire for hip-hop to keep representing Edmonton and for Politic Live to be the fire that keeps the movement going.