Nocando, Curly Castro, Spit Suicide freestyle at Hidden House

Our show on Feb. 18 with Nocando, Open Mike Eagle and 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers turned out to be incredible. But the day wasn’t without its anxiety-filled moments, from Curly Castro’s lost luggage at the airport to Nocando, Open Mike Eagle and Jeff Weiss having to speed through the desert night after breaking free from L.A.’s traffic hell to make it to Hidden House right on time.

But all’s well that ends well. And each of the artists delivered performances that only proved why I thought this would be a special night when I started putting it together.

One of the best moments came when Open Mike Eagle set off a freestyle session with his song Go Home as the backdrop. It was about that time of the night when the alcohol was doing its job and the energy of the room was peaking. He invited any willing and able MCs to the stage, and Phoenix’s Spit Suicide rose to the challenge to join Nocando and Curly Castro of the Shadowboxers for a round. (Love watching OME having to wrest the microphone out of his hands.)

Nocando then did what he does best, flowin’ off the top of his head with ease while endearing himself to locals with a name-check of Yuma. But the loudest hollers might have come for Castro, who smashed the session with his closing eulogy to Seinfeld’s Uncle Leo.

Not to be outdone, Open Mike Eagle had to reset the song so he could rip a freestyle of his own:

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