On the hottest day so far this year, fans packed onto the lawn at Duke Gardens to experience the hip hop sounds of Kooley High.
The Raleigh group, most of which recently moved to Brooklyn, tore through a set with ease and charm like seasoned veterans who've been around for decades. They pulled out some new songs from their forthcoming debut album Eastern Standard Time, including the title track and "Betty Crocker."
The quintet took a pause between songs to do some freestyle rhymes to on the fly beats created by Foolery using a sampler, one of which was about their temporary home in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
As they closed their hour long set, DJ Ill Digitz and Charlie Smarts stuck around to host a dance party, which got a large portion of the crowd up off their blankets and lawn chairs to cut loose to a few songs. Some fans even rushed the stage to bust some moves, but that was quickly stopped to protect the stage and audio gear.
The entire evening was a wild time, unlike any that Duke Gardens has likely ever experienced, and certainly unlike anything I've witnessed there. Kooley High certainly grabbed the crown for most fun show ever in the Gardens.
[all photos by Kevin Norris]