When people hear the word “rap”, they usually have a strong opinion about it (either negative or positive). However, 23-year-old Frank Lopes doesn’t quite fit that rapper aesthetic. His songs have a slam poetry vibe to them and he uses his past hardships to connect with his fans. From heartbreak to his parents’ divorce, he hits home with his lyrics.
His low budget music videos was a breath of fresh air for music lovers. The way this shaggy-haired boy clutched his microphone speaking his lyrics with such a frantic demeanor really draws in viewers and fans alike. The most popular song from Hobo Johnson is called “Peach Scones“, which took most people by surprise by how different it is. However, after listening to his album, it doesn’t take much to fall in love with this singer.
I’ve been a fan of his for a while and was lucky enough to see him live this week at the Buckhead Theater. Any love I had for him was only doubled after this concert. While watching him live, the crowd could really connect with him and see what a down to earth poet he really was. Something really unique about him is that he really noticed his fans. He would make eye contact with so many and directly interact with those he could see. He even stopped his concert because he saw someone pass out and handed them a bottled water.
He made jokes, danced, and played several instruments all while barefoot for hours. What really reeled me in about this concert was how down to earth he was as an artist and as a person. You could watch his face as he would get emotional about his songs and see a sparkle in his eyes from watching his fans sing along with him. It also makes you think about how he came to be such a loved artist.
Hobo Johnson didn’t come from the best background. By the time he was 19, he had been kicked out of his father’s house and was living out of his car while working at a pizza shop and taking showers at a local gym. He created the “Hobo Johnson” persona – named because he, too, was homeless – to escape from the realities of his life and it ended up making him famous. He has been so sincere with his music that it almost comes off as awkward to some listeners. His big break was when he recorded a series of videos in his friends’ backyard. His talent is humbling to many and resulted in a cult following of fans.
Seeing him live at the Buckhead Theater made it even greater to see him live. I had gone to The Masquerade earlier this year and there were a few things the two venues had in common. One was the setup. You were able to get very close to the stage, however, it was a bigger space so it allowed for more people and more dancing. It wasn’t as gothic as the Masquerade, rather it was red and gold. They also had private seating upstairs, which the Purgatory venue at the Masquerade lacked. The staff was polite and constantly made sure that everyone was safe. They checked bags and even did metal detector tests on every person to ensure peak safety. They also had a merch stand at the end of the show and they went through a long line of fans extremely fast.
I honestly think that the Buckhead theater was a great place for this concert. It was set up beautifully for every person to really catch a glimpse of the artists that performed. Being that close to Frank Lopes was also a huge perk for me personally and I would love to see more concerts at this venue. I would also highly recommend giving Hobo Johnson a chance on your next music binge and maybe even think about seeing him live.