by Jessica Smith
photography by Jonathan Smith
Cryptic Wisdom headlined the hottest show yet at Trinidad’s most popular performing venue, Main Street Tattoo Parlor, sponsored by High Life Promotions, on Saturday, August 4.
The artist, based out of Tucson, Arizona, stopped in Trinidad during his tour of Colorado, which included dates in Fort Collins, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction after teaming up with Big Buzz on his Buzzworthy Tour Sponsored by Highlife Promotions.
His raw, honest, and emotional stories, a musical blend of poetic hip-hop, alternative, and grunge, has struck a chord with listeners since coming on the scene in the early 2010s. Since the release of his EP “ONE” in 2013, he has performed alongside artists such as Cypress Hill, Tech N9ne, Dizzy Wight, Twiztid, Hopsin, and more. He has cultivated a strong following with over 150,000 YouTube subscribers and over 650,000 likes on Facebook.
Doors opened shortly after 6pm after a large group gathered on Main Street’s 100 block in the heart of downtown Trinidad. Upon entry, attendees were greeted with a large metal apparatus being prepared for a suspension stunt performed by tattoo/piercing/body modification artist Adam Newginz, a Trinidad resident. Body suspension is done using large, metal hooks inserted through the skin to lift an individual with ropes. Newginz was elevated using his forearms to a frenzied crowd, and even swung back and forth from his own taut epidermis. Local artist Jason Sanderford opened the musical performances with original country-rock compositions, regaling the audience with a nostalgic account of his native North Carolina.
After a triad of riotous performances in northern Colorado earlier in the week, Florida artist and Trinidad favorite Big Buzz and High Life Promotions’ chairman David Kemp recruited up-and-coming artists from Colorado Springs to join Saturday’s six-hour leg of the Highlife Promotions Buzzworthy Tour. SeenLoc – also known as Emceesexyhair – brought a unique and brazen performance with crowdpleasers such as “IFYM” and “HorCity.” ColorBlind – a duo consisting of RrichardrayY and O.e – have been active in the Springs scene since 2016, and seek to make a name for themselves with a peaceful, positive message, and impressed the crowd with their vibrant and eclectic performance. They were also joined on stage by Legacy, a young, energetic rapper who fired up the crowd, particularly with his song “Y’all Ain’t Ready”, and received a tattoo from Main Street Tattoo Parlor later in the evening.
The Raton collective known as Stringtown returned to Trinidad hot off of filming their latest music video for “OnehundredonE.” The group presented an extended set, supplying the growing crowd with nearly an hour of music and giving each entertainer a chance to shine. Nesto Mariani, Gasho, DKG, and Lo Keezy, grew up together in Raton, but only recently began pursuing music on a professional level. NLM spoke with Gasho, who expressed both excitement to be performing at the venue again and his admiration for the evening’s headliner. Big Buzz, Florida rapper and southern Colorado favorite, then presented a short set including his hits “Sushi” and “Grown” and charmed fans with his spitfire freestyling and humorous recollections of tales from the tour.
Cryptic Wisdom arrived around 9pm, setting up his own merchandise display, mingling with fans, and enjoying a quick, private meal (Sonic’s mozzarella sticks and a small Dr. Pepper) in the New Legends staff vehicle. The night’s main performance began around 10:30, and Cryptic wasted no time in firing up the crowd. CW fully utilized Main Street Tattoo Parlor’s trademark elevated stage, jumping onto, running across, sitting on, crawling over, and even hanging from the railing (with assistance from Big Buzz). Songs included “Hope You’re Happy,” “Fake It,” and the popular “7 Years,” which has received over three million views on YouTube. Cryptic, also known as David Gonzalez, opened up about finding inspiration in his troubled past never knowing his father and being raised by his grandparents. The vulnerability and openness of the seasoned songwriter contrasted with his full-bodied stage presence struck a chord with fans, many of whom sang along to numerous songs and raised flashlit phones. After performing for nearly an hour, Cryptic made known his intention to meet every concert attendee, signing autographs, posing for photos, and hanging out with fans until roughly 3am, when the singer departed for his next tour date in Grand Junction. After the completion of his Colorado tour, Cryptic Wisdom plans to return to his home studio and prepare new songs for his tour of California this November.
High Life Promotions enjoyed their most energetic crowd yet at what is quickly become southern Colorado’s hottest performing venue. AFROMAN plays Main Street Tattoo Parlor September 8 supported by Big Buzz, Colorblind, Legacy, and more artists to be announced. Watch our event page for more details: http://newlegendsmag.com/events/sep8/