Open Mike Eagle is the latest guest to appear on NPR Music’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series. To watch this rapper perform, after having released his most critically acclaimed album so far, is to see him cherish this opportunity. “How’s everybody’s lunch?” he said. “Smells like lots of good soup in here.”
Typically Mike appears on stage with little else but a microphone and personal equipment — a live setup that is already small enough for the average office desk. For this stop in Washington, D.C., though, Mike brought a backup band for “(How Could Anybody) Feel at Home,” “Daydreaming In The Projects” and “Very Much Money,” off last year’s Brick Body Kids Still Daydream and 2014’s Dark Comedy, respectively. The camera closes in on how Jordan Katz (trumpet, keys, sampler) uses a Bruce Springsteen book as a makeshift stand, this particular episode was all about amplifying Mike’s already over-active imagination, whether in the lyrical impressionism or surreal production.
You’ll have plenty more opportunities to see Mike live in 2018: Next week he performs four shows in Honolulu with comedian and college pal Hannibal Buress, and starting in February, he opens for Why? on several dates in his East Coast tour. For now, watch his must-see “Tiny Desk” episode up top.