SAN FRANCISCO — Florida hardcore rocker turned rapper Eric Whitney, known as Ghostemane, brought a diverse an eclectic lineup to the Regency Ballroom Wednesday that in many ways paid homage to his own musical upbringing. Ranging from trap hip-hop to punishing metalcore, the bill had something for everyone, with Ghostmane’s own set melding all these influences together. Donning a long white coat, Ghostemane (as well as most of the evening’s acts) spent much of the time as darkened silhouettes against the backdrop of video screens.
Ghostemane’s musical range was dramatic, seamlessly flowing from light-speed rhymes to guttural screams that rumbled the walls. His singing showed a little bit of Korn’s Jonathan Davis and Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Rezner. The crowd was just about as diverse as the artist himself. In many ways, the set was a celebration of heavy aggression—regardless of the genre.
“I want to see a circle pit,” Ghostemane said early in the set, and fans responded in spades, creating a massive pit that took up the majority of the floor.
The thunderous riffs gave way to thumping beats so interchangeably it was inconceivable that it could be coming from the same artist. Occasionally Ghostemane even strapped on an electric guitar to add to the wall of punishing hard rock.
Ghostemane’s DJ Parv0 performed an equally eclectic set, melding remixes of many of the songs that shaped the artists that night. Korn and Slipknot were intermixed with electronic and hip-hop-based songs . Wearing a mask seemingly out of “The Silence of Lambs,” Parv0 provided a visually stimulating performance that hyped up the crowd for the evening’s headliner.
Rapper Lil’ Tracy offered up a set of trap hip-hop. With a DJ as well as a security guard watching closely from the side of the stage. Lil’ Tracy played a laidback flow over rolling beats that sharply contrasted much of the evening’s aggressiveness.
Chicago hardcore punks Harm’s Way played an absolutely brutal set early in the evening that grabbed the audience by the throat from the opening note and didn’t let go. Frontman Bo Lueders offered up mostly rumbling screamed vocals. An imposing frontman, he commanded the stage with a brooding intensity.
Horus the Astroneer opened the show, sticking out with his bright green hair that he continuously doused with water while performing dark raps about suicide and being an outcast.
— Mike DeWald