Can You Rock was a complete success this year. The pre-party at A'Shop was considered by many to be the party of the summer or year by that point. We had Cope2, Sen2, and the King Bee from NYC in town as well as Bacon and Wundah from Toronto, and plenty of other big heads from around the way. Fake and A'shop put there creative talents together to pull off one of the best Can You Rock jams since this festival was first put on 6 years ago (Meeting of Styles formerly).
And for the first time in as many years as I have been covering this convention I had the distinct pleasure of being a part of the event. The boys at A'Shop were more than generous to offer a couple of walls to put up a series of my shots reflecting the last 8 years I've been documenting the local scene. I put up a total of 65 shots in the series that I called "Benching". It was awesome to be a part of the convention, to put up the shots (the whole process of which I'll be posting on shortly along with all the shots I put up), and then to see people (writers or not) checking the shots, pointing out their tags, throwies, or pieces. I've got nothing but love for the boys at A'Shop and Fake for their support and generosity for making me a part of this event. I especially have to thank Axe and Oser for their hard work and attention to detail that really made my photo expo stand out, and cheers to Bruno for the ideas for the props that added that extra aesthetic and made the whole thing solid.
But I digress...the pre party was a smash. Not only did we have a solid spot (just above the shop in a converted boxing gym), but the pieces for the show really worked well together. The A'Shop team spent countless hours setting up the spot and doing all the background art work.The pieces were amazing, and the party was mind blowing. The spot had a capacity of something like 300, and believe me the place was packed. And just when you thought there were too many people inside, you were treated to a block party style parking lot chilleur outside. I was out relatively early that night, but apparently the party went on till the wee hours of the morning. K6A put on a solid set in the boxing ring/stage and the beats were pumping all night. With Pabst as a major sponsor there was plenty of beer to go around too. Check these photos from the pre party bash. And if you missed it, then you missed the party of the year. But hey, no worries, next year is going to be even bigger. Just mark it off on your calendar 'cause you don't want to miss it.
The event went on without a hitch too, although it took a few extra hours into the mid afternoon until most writers were at their spots painting considering the out of control festivities the evening before. The weather was overcast and although rain was expected for the entire weekend the skies stayed pretty clear allowing everyone to get their work done. Rain did finally come at the end of the last day effectively shutting anyone left trying to finish up but whoever split just came back later or the the following week to touch up their pieces.
Unfortunately, the building owners at the Cabot Street spot, where the event has had it last few years, failed to fix a section of the wall that had collapsed at one point a couple of months prior. The result was that a sizable section of the wall on Cabot Street was in disrepair leaving anywhere up to 30 spots unpaintable. Regardless of this set back, and true to the writer form, those who lost spots found new ones. Some decided to take it to the next level, like one writer literally did, by climbing up a story and painting a spot in the back corner by monkeying about the remanents of the old loading dock door cover. Others had no choice but to paint the undulating metal siding in the back or had to try find a spot in between other pieces if available.
At one point we had the skaters jumping over a tagged up couch and decided to give Fluke some close up action. I don't think he was expecting the whole crew to fly over him. Then this girl with her little dog decided to chill on the couch for some beauty shots and then have everyone jump over her too. I don't know who these guys were but they were killing it. Made for some fun shots.
I wasn't able to grab finished shots yet due to a sprained ankle keeping me off my feet for a little, but I got a lot of great stuff from what I was able to flick as finished to semi-finished at that point. It's hard to say who had the best work up but Bacon's piece was pretty nice, truly a great next level mix of style and form; Sen2, King Bee, and Cope did some awesome stuff too. Agens did some fine work and K6A put up a huge Epic Meal Time production that I wasn't able to flick finished but know it turned out pretty wicked. Kems and Geser destroyed the upper level with a couple of awesome pieces too. All the walls had quailty pieces and for the most part blended well with each other.
Some great work from a lot of talented writers and artists this year, the pre party was awesome, the event well, and it was nice to chill out in the corner lot shootin' the shit over a some brews and bbq. Much love and thanks again to the A'Shop crew for making me a part of the event this year and everything else.
Don't miss the pre party next year. Seriously.
Lots, lots more to come. Stay posted.