The Waldorf was awash in the dank scent of freshly scorched joints and Too High Crew was nowhere to be seen for this supposedly early show. But after they entered, there was little delay before they hurled their powerful presence on stage. The party posse — typically 24 rappers strong, fronted by Chrissy and Ry Ry (a.k.a. Chris van der Laan and Ryan Walter Wagner, respectively) — rolled into the Cabaret, ready to hype up the Waldorf crowd. Instead of playing for a party, they became the party, regardless of the fact that tonight only nine were on stage.
If you assumed Too High Crew’s lyrics were about astrophysics, you would be mistaken. Instead, there were a lot of reiterated vanilla lines about smoking weed. They are sci-fi nerds at heart who rhyme about Boba Fett, blunts, C-3PO, pot, Yoda, herb, lightsabers, reefer, droids and ganja. Even though Too High Crew are only a year into the Vancouver rap scene and most of their music is basement-produced, they’re generating buzz pretty quickly.
The group have played local venues like Five Sixty, the Waldorf and Simply Delicious Sushi, and Tubby Dog, a hot dog joint in Calgary. While they might still be amateur and their lyrics arguably juvenile, their performance at the Waldorf was full of enthusiasm, and Vancouver’s lack of crowd hype didn’t deter them from performing explosively.
The show itself was a spectacle. T3P0 — a.k.a. Travis Pastor, their onstage joint-roller — even passed out in a purple haze during the set. The crowd vibed with repeated lyrics, “Where the weed at?” with the crew’s upbeat stage presence. Another crowd member vigorously performed a robotic dance-off, after which the crowd was robotoxicated to the point where they could only beep and grunt and bloop.
In the end, while their lyrics were a little colourless, they won me — and most of the crowd — over in their ability to make me relive my nerdy adolescence obsessed with C-3PO. Even with my lack of penis, their performance gave me a stoner boner that I could not lose.