Darren Williams, aka Star Slinger, made his much-anticipated SF debut last Thursday night at the Popscene, the weekly Thursday party at Rickshaw Stop. All the hype he has received in the last year since stepping out onto the beat scene meant he had a lot at stake. On top of this, there was the added pressure to create the best first impression since the show sold out early in the night. Forunately, it all worked out in his favor.

The success of this show was a collaborative effort, with support from acclaimed Ghostly International artists, Zach Saginaw, aka Shigeto, and Brian Lindgren, aka Mux Mool. Saginaw makes his sets extra “live” by playing his full drum kit on stage. As usual, it was impressive to watch him keep up with himself as he went to and from his laptop with ease. Lindgren, on the other hand, kept it simpler as he slowly layered together his set on his controllers. His polished beats and penchant for no-bullshit hip hop created just the right vibes to catch the audience’s attention right before Williams came on.

By this time, Williams effortlessly picked up the momentum with faster beats and more samples. The added benefit of throwing in more pop elements became apparent as he won the crowd over almost instantly and kept them excited until the last moment. In a place where harder beats are the most in demand at the moment, William’s light hip hop was fun, fresh and just what SF could use as a memorable highlight in its eclectic music scene.

If you missed him this time around, keep your eye out for his return, which, if we’re lucky, will be sooner than later.