When you hear the name “Hoodie Allen,” you probably think back to water bottles full of your parent’s vodka, sneaking into the city, and making out with strangers on the sides of the venue. While it’s true Hoodie Allen was widely known by the younger generation for his 2012 single “No Interruption,” he has come a long way as an artist since then. Dropping below the radio radar after that hit, Hoodie—also known as Steven Markowitz—continued to pump out albums year after year, solidifying a dedicated fanbase with his self-aware rap and down-to-earth interaction with fans both in person and on social media.
With the release of his new album, The Hype, Hoodie Allen has embarked on a nationwide tour with supporting acts Myles Parrish and Luke Christopher, hitting almost every continental state before he continues his tour across Europe with support act Goody Grace.
At his House of Blues show in Boston, Mass., fans lined up early in the day to secure their spots on the barricade for the rapper’s show. Undaunted by the biggest venue of the tour, Hoodie Allen came out strong with two songs from his new album, one of which— “Sushi”—was the first single to be released. Letting the fans vote on the setlist online, the Long Island native’s show dabbled not only in his previous albums, but also early mixtapes, paying homage to the fan favorite “You Are Not a Robot” and songs off his freshman album All American.
Though the standard of concerts has been heightened to that of a spectacle rather than a live music performance, Hoodie Allen stuck to tradition with nothing more than lights, a live band, and some confetti to accompany him for the hour and fifteen minute set. And that’s all he needed. With electrifying energy that was reciprocated by the dedicated crowd, Hoodie Allen brought something new to each song without the help of any LED screens–instead choosing to tie together the bras thrown on stage and “jump rope” with them, pull up a fan to sing “All My Friends,” and throwing an actual cake into the crowd during “Cake Boy.”
Finishing the night with the classic “No Interruption” and a flurry of yellow and white confetti, Hoodie Allen proved himself to be—through both his show and masterfully crafted new album—the type of artist that we’ve been missing. Meeting people before his set at his merch booth, doing a personal meet and greet with people who are first in line, and giving out his phone number to everyone in the crowd, Hoodie Allen seems to be the only artist left in this day and age that realizes the importance of their fans, and even goes so far as to treat them as friends.
The dedication, energy, thought, and pride that Hoodie Allen puts into his shows, including his Nov. 21 Boston concert, shows that he truly is an artist worthy of recognition and respect.