Concert Review: Alpha Omega at The Rockpile in Toronto

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Alpha Omega is a relatively new group from Victoria, BC consisting of veteran MC Prevail, who is also part of the Juno award-winning Swollen Members, and BaxWar artist Neph.  While Prevail has built a strong reputation over the past twenty years with Swollen Members, this new group Alpha Omega is just getting started with only a few EPs released so far.  I don’t know much about them, but they’re currently touring across Canada fresh off the release of their new EP, The Outbreak.  This show at The Rockpile would be my first time seeing Prevail or Neph perform live.

I got to the venue a couple hours after doors had opened, and there were already openers on stage.  The crowd was small – it might have been the smallest Rockpile crowd I’ve ever seen, but they had good energy, stepping up to the stage for each opening act.  These openers were all new to me, and it would be my first time seeing any of them perform.  Some highlights included Brody G’s rapid-fire flows over trap beats, RezMade performing positive party tunes from his wheelchair, and a brother-sister duo that brought a ton of energy.

While most of the openers had good vibes, flows, and energy, the next opener, Tragedy, was the first to actually stand out with his rhymes.   He had some witty punchlines that got good reactions from the crowd, and a delivery that made them stand out.  There was one last opener before Alpha Omega would hit the stage; he tried to get the crowd hyped for AO by asking them who they came to see, and one fan shouted out Tragedy!  Nonetheless, Alpha Omega got on stage just before midnight, and they would not be outshined by the opening acts.

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Besides the two most recent EPs released, I don’t know much of Alpha Omega’s music, and so there were several songs I didn’t recognize.  Prevail and Neph went straight to business though, diving right into their songs without much talking.  They took turns spitting their verses and let the rhymes speak for themselves.  Their songs are mostly high-energy, with rapid-fire flows and sharp rhymes – the type that get crowds’ heads nodding and hands waving.

Songs like “S.I.N.S.,” “Hearsay/Firing Squad,” and “Stranger Things” stood out as they went through their catalogue.  There was a point when a fan jumped on stage in the middle of a song (I think it was either the new single “CENTCOM” or “100 Yds”), but rather than have security kick him off, Prevail actually passed him the mic and let him rap his verse.  With other artists this may have led to some sort of incident, but the show kept rolling smoothly.  That is until there was a bit of a medical emergency in the middle of the crowd.  Rather than keeping the crowd moving, Prevail stopped the show mid-verse so that the people could help deal with the issue.

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Once everything was resolved, Alpha Omega got everyone moving again with a few more songs, before eventually closing the show with the last song off the new EP, “Clay & Soil.”  Prevail and Neph then stuck around the merch booth to meet the fans and take pictures.  Overall this was a fun show.  The small crowd made it so that the artists could be more interactive.  Even with fans jumping on stage and medical emergencies, Alpha Omega dealt with the unexpected like true veteran performers.  They also performed like veterans too, spitting every word of every verse and knowing just when to step in as a hypeman for the other MC.  The synergy was on point, and I’m definitely looking forward to potentially hearing a full-length album.

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Alpha Omega are currently on tour throughout Ontario (after they make a stop in Montreal) and will be joined by Guelph’s own Robbie G at certain shows!  My followers may recognize that name from the last AmbrosiaForHeads article I wrote covering his new single, which features a reunited Swollen Members.  They’re hitting small venues, so it’s a good opportunity for fans to meet a Juno award-winning, iconic Canadian MC in Prevail (who somehow manages to rap in shorts and a t-shirt during Canadian winters).

 

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