Belligerent, boisterous, and larger than life, Paris Texas is untouchable.
South Central LA duo comprised of Louie Pastel and Felix, Paris Texas has skyrocketed in global popularity over the last year. Following the release of ‘MID AIR’, their flag on the moon album and declaration of rockstardom, they’ve garnered praise from fans and peers alike, building a case for the inevitability of their rise.
Attending the LA stop on their North American and European MID AIR Tour has only deepened my understanding of their grandiosity: for every minute of every song, The Roxy was lit ablaze. As if it was impossible to remain within the confinement of our skin, every person in attendance was in full explosion. Young kids, older spectators, all in feverish awe.
Characteristically known to marry rap and rock with neither at the expense of the other, the show was drenched in mosh pits, crowd surfing, and shaken walls. Their brash, villainous sound is cathartic to scream along to, with ‘NüWhip’ and ‘Full English’ standing out as particularly electrifying. There was no real violence, no real danger to fear. Just a safely curated environment for people to expel their rage, become an exclamation of themselves, and head bang to trap rock.
It’s difficult to verbalize the stamina necessary to captivate a sold-out venue for as long and unwaveringly as they did. Never missing a beat, controlling their vocals with perfect articulation, and maintaining while meeting the crowd’s energy, Paris Texas aren’t just two kids making music: music has been long awaiting them.
Rambunctious and drawn outside the lines, what Louie and Felix are furthering for alternative Black boys stumbling through a world that begs of them palatability and disempowerment is culturally imperative. Holding the baton acts like Lil Wayne, Tyler The Creator, and Vince Staples have passed, their significance is that they themselves are exactly who they once needed to witness. They ignite bravery and elicit permission for people to lean into their authenticity and its consequential art.
This tour has taken them far beyond their West Coast roots, though there was something particularly special about this homecoming show. With callbacks to older projects, a four set encore, and special appearance from Kenny Mason, they made family members beaming from the VIP section proud. Pocketed in transitions were moments of expressed gratitude, letting fans and friends alike know that they saw themselves in their reflection, that dreams are always worth chasing, and that there is no high quite as lasting as the one you get from following your heart.
In an industry that churns out artists feening to burn as brightly as they can, Paris Texas is a slow burn. As they close out the tour hitting venues in London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin, missing the Mid Air live shows would be a regrettable loss: this is the beginning of a lasting reign.
Words: Jazmin Kylene
Photo Credit: Shane Sumbu