Hoodie Allen keeps people talking with groundbreaking live shows


Hoodie Allen performs at The Warfield on Nov. 14. Photo by Harmony Reilly

There’s just something absolutely compelling about Hoodie Allen. It’s not just the fact that he actually takes the time to reply to his fans on Twitter, it’s not just that his music is an insanely catchy hybrid of rap and hip hop, and it’s not just that he knows how to put on a live show incredibly well. Actually, it’s all three.

Not to point fingers, but there are some artists who sounds great on their albums but are completely washed out and worn live. Hoodie, on the other hand, is someone who exudes complete confidence and energy. You could bring your grandmother to one of his shows and she would be dancing within minutes.

Some of Hoodie’s music is explicit, so if you’re offended by cursing or sexual innuendos and not-so innuendos, you probably won’t enjoy his songs. If explicit content doesn’t offend you, on the other hand, Hoodie Allen could be your new favorite.

His stage presence makes you want to cheer and sing along and forget about everything and just free your mind of worries for a few hours. The lighting is crazy fantastic as well; you might have to blink rapidly to rid your eyes of the bright lights, but you’re not going to mind because it’s not the lights you’re focusing on, it’s Hoodie.

Hoodie, whose real name is actually Steven Markowitz, absolutely knew how to utilize and feed off of the crowd’s energy in The Warfield on Nov. 14. The place was sold out, and virtually no one was in their seat — they were either standing up and jumping or screaming their lungs out, or some variation of the two.

The real reason Hoodie Allen is so phenomenal is because not only does he know how to rock a live show, he also respects and gives back to his fans.

Before each show Hoodie does, he has a deal where if you’re one of the first 100 to buy merch, you get a free VIP wristband to guarantee a meet and greet with him. If you weren’t one of the first 100, not to worry, you can just chill by his bus after his show and wait until he comes out.

A concert should be enjoyable for both the performer and the audience, and the People Keep Talking tour was that and so much more.

Hoodie began with a few of his newer songs, like his title track “People Keep Talking,” and “Act My Age” but went on to perform other songs of his older EPs and mixtapes, like “Cake Boy,” “No Faith in Brooklyn,” and ended with the classic “No Interruption.”

During “Cake Boy,” Hoodie threw (launched would be a more accurate way of describing the way that cake flew over the crowd) a cake and it hit an audience member dead on, and Hoodie told him he’d get a free shirt after the concert.

Hoodie had attempted crowd surfing on the inflatable raft that he brings to all his shows, but barely made it off the stage before he fell into the mosh pit, surrounded by screaming fans and cell phones. When he made it back on the stage, he made a joke about “all the lawsuits” that were going to happen. Despite the failed crowd surfing attempt, he played it off, even though he lost a shoe before deciding to just take the other one off as well. Hoodie decided to finish his show in just his socks. It was kind of awesome.

There’s only a handful of tour dates left for Hoodie’s People Keep Talking tour, but if you find yourself in any of the cities he’s performing in next, you should definitely spend the $35 to see him live, because not only will you walk away with a sense of astonishment, you’ll have a new respect for him that’s already been returned.

It didn’t feel as though Hoodie saw the audience as ticket sales, or just “fans.” There was a sense of community, of family.

It’s amazing how having an artist in common can spark new friendships. To forget about everything for a few hours: gender, sexual orientation, age, relationship status, race, or anything else is beautiful. To be experiencing someone you’ve seen one hundred times or someone you’re seeing for the first time live is fantastic.

Hoodie will even take pictures with fans after the show, and the best part is, he does it out of the kindness and respect he has towards his fans, not because anyone there bought a meet and greet.

If you want to stick with artists who might not ever say anything besides a stereotypical “thank you,” be my guest. But if you want a more personalized experience, full of cake, a bra jump rope (yeah, you read that right), and an artist who has as much interest in you as you do in him, then join the Hoodie family and buy concert tickets or buy his CD People Keep Talking. You’re welcome ahead of time.