Last summer I went to the Rooftop Concerts in Downtown Provo and thought “I would love to play at something like this”. It wasn’t even a realistic goal to me at that point. It was just something you say, like “I wanna have a million dollars” or “I wanna be an astronaut”.
You have to remember that most family-friendly Provo indie rock bands don’t even get to play these huge summer concerts, and I am a Provo rapper. Not only am I a Provo rapper, but I’m not even like a super-chill party-friendly rapper that sweet bros can get down to. I make fun of that stuff. I’m the guy who did a parody of fellow 2012 Rooftop opener John Allred’s Kickstarter Video. I have multiple strikes against me and shouldn’t expect too much in Provo.
Except I never believed that last sentence. I can’t stand it when people write Provo’s music scene off to justify why they’re not doing great things. If you want Provo to have a polka scene, start a polka band. If you can’t get any shows, make your own. So with that attitude, I started to think “No seriously, I wanna play a rooftop show someday”.
When this summer’s Rooftop Concert Series got announced, I set an actual goal that me & Apt would work our asses off and get on the 2013 lineup. Then a couple months ago, I got to do a parody rap song with Rooftop co-founder C. Jane Kendrick. I recorded my verse at my house, then after the song was done I met her for the first time after last month’s Rooftop Concert with The Moth & The Flame. Even then, I thought to myself that maybe if I asked nicely I could get on the 2013 Rooftop Series, since the 2012 lineup was already announced. I gave her a copy of Underdogg and already started thinking of Twitter hashtags for our 2013 Rooftop campaign.
Then, like 2 weeks ago, I got an email from Rooftop’s other co-founder, Sarah Wiley, asking if me and Apt would play THIS MONTH’S Rooftop, the Tom Petty Tribute Show!
I was so blown away. Apparently there wasn’t going to be an opener for the show, but since we have a simple setup (no drums or amps) they thought we’d be a good fit. In the back of our minds me and Adam pictured ourselves playing to a bunch of grandparents on blankets shaking their heads at us in disapproval. Lucky for us, we always set our expectations low and we’re never disappointed.
Last night we had a great time playing at the Rooftop. Our songs translated better than I expected to the huge crowd, and the whole night reminded me why I love living in Provo. And we were a better fit on the show than a lot of people probably thought when they first heard we were opening. We even had our own all-star cast of guest Provo singers join us on stage, including Scott Shepard, John-Ross Boyce, Cody Rigby, Emily Brown, and Jack Mergist.
Hopefully events like this show people that me and Apt aren’t really that much different from the other bands they see in Provo; we just happen to rap. Once people can see us in that context, and not in the context of what they’re taught a rapper should look or sound like, I think they’ll get where we’re coming from a lot better.