Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh What a Night…Part 2 (my turn)

I know Benny already tipped y’all off to Monday’s festivities at Neumos: the grand finale of the second annual 3-day concert showcase of the finest acts the great upper-left has to offer; good luck finding a better way to start your week!  I’ll try not to repeat anything you already read, but I gotta give my take too! 

For us, these nights always begin and end the same: with DSC00435 drink in hand -sometimes two.   Of course, there’s a whole lot of adult beverages in between as well, and tonight was no different…although I can’t say I’ve ever had a 24oz. Red Stripe before, damn that shit was good though! 

Anyways, we started off at Moe’s (doh!) while we waited for Trouble T-roye to roll in with the weed-smoke cloud behind him.  To his credit, we took his suggestion and met at this little joint called the Pike Street Fish Fry.  Two words: Fucking.  Wow.  I guess you should always trust a stoner when it comes to food suggestions!

Let me tell you something, it might not look all that amazing as you order from a little-ass scribbled-on chalkboard in this low-ceiling, simple-decor spot, but you won’t find better fish and chips outside of London (not that I’ve ever been, but that’s where they originated right?).  It’s all freshly made right in front of you, with a great selection of homemade sauces to boot… and if you don’t try the hush puppies, I will kick you in the fucking sack.  Yes, they are that good.

So we sat down with our tremendous food and watched folks come in for the show.  As we grubbed silently, we watched this Toyota Camry bust a 23-point turn to park in a spot clearly marked with a big-ass “No Parking Here” sign.  I would’ve laughed, but I was too busy stuffing my face. 

Anyway, we’re waiting for this genius to get out so we can all point and clown, and who should step out of the ride?  The man of the hour himself, Sabzi.  He may be one of the best beatmakers in the game today - and tomorrow for that matter - but parking an imported automobile…eh, not so much.   

Enough about that though – unless you want me to go on about the fish, seriously, I might be willing to go catch fucking Candlebox at Neumos just so I can hit that joint up again – anyways, we belched out our compliments to the chef and hit the club.  And this is where I met my new friend for the night; as I downed a nice Maker’s and diet (gotta make up for the deep-fried fish and french fries with a diet soda right?), I see this guy get one of these beauties passed across the bar:

DSC00437You shitting me??  Not only is that one big-ass beer, it’s ice cold, and in a bottle!  No plastic cups for this one…I’ll take one of those big wonderful beauties please!  Frosty cold, 24 ounces of Red Stripe in hand, we bellied up to the stage and settled in for a fine evening of entertainment.

I can’t lie, I was a little surprised to see AYCE-favorite Dyme Def be the opening act.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take these cats whenever I can get ‘em…pause…but seriously, despite their physical stature, there’s no reason they should get the short set.  As a matter of fact, while Blue Scholars and Common Market keep building national-buzz (and rightly so, of course), how is it that these three MC’s and Bean One aren’t on the same level?  They may not be part of the “conscientious crew” – and sometimes that’s a good thing! – but the wit, passion, and appreciation they show for those who came before them should have them muggin’ on MTV on the regular.  But I digress…  As usual – in fact, even more than usual – Dyme Def beat the shit out of that stage and left the crowd wondering what the fuck just happened. 

Next up was Macklemore.  This was the second time I’ve seen him, and again I came away impressed.  You could feel the passion building from the tip toes of his grey slip-on Vans all the way to the top of his trucker style old-school Chicago Bears hat and then exploding onto the mic and those of us in the front row.  Not only does he bring lyrical heat, but you can tell he loves to perform.  Never mind the denim jacket with tassles he donned while flowing over Herbie Hancock’s famed “Axel F(oley)”, the Rob Dyrdek-esque performance he put on for “I’m an American” was hilarious, all while being backed up by Nacho Libre on the trumpet and Don Ho on violin (he was playin’ it like a ukulele).  I was a little taken aback when two dudes rolled out from under the nearest bridge and onto the stage, but Champagne Champagne actually brought some serious energy to the already hyped crowd.  Oh, and lastly, how is it that the crowd didn’t go buck for Ohmega Watts workin’ the wheels behind Mack? 


If you’re still reading this, congratulations!  You have a much longer attention span than most!  Up next, Sabzi settled in behind the turntables and introduced a special guest: Spaceman came rumbling through the crowd and jumped on stage sending the place into orbit.  Get it… Spaceman… orbit… sorry.  Anyways, him, Fatal Lucciano and D Black were surprisingly solid.  I’ve only seen Fatal once, and after about five minutes I was tired of him being all angry and yelling at me, but this time was much better.  D Black seemed to be the focus (and not just because of his size); he rocked the mic while Spaceman passed out his EP.  Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the Sportn’ Life performance. 

Ra Scion came out and joined them towards the end.  Just like Benny, this dynamic was a little weird to me.  I’ve seen Common Market on several occasions, but I’ve never noticed Ra so b-boyed up.  Not criticizing, just caught me off guard.  Anyways, according to the crowd reaction we had arrived at the good part of the show.  And Ra did not disappoint!  DSC00461 I don’t know how he could rock a show like that wearing five layers underneath a coat without passing out, but he did, and some how we were sweating more than him.  OK, by we I mean me… what can I say, I’m a big man… and I sweat.

One very cool thing about this show is that the breaks in between acts were short as hell, sometimes seamless.  So, as Ra thanked the crowd, Geologic took the stage - signaling the start of Blue Scholars’ part of the show; and all the while, Sabzi looked on like a proud pops.  After all, this whole three-day thing seems to largely be his baby.

What a way to wrap up this show, and the event as a whole.  Geo and Sabzi reminded me why they had top billing, and why so many people are taking notice of this Northwest duo.  Like B said, that iPhone shit was ridiculous, as was the way they brought up a whole gang of local MCs to rock the “North by Northwest” rendition and put an end to the show with “No Rest for the Weary”… minus the short encore of course (PS, I missed the beginning of this one, sorry Grynch!  And the bass wreaks havoc on the audio towards the end…oh well.)

Geo thanked the decidedly Blue Scholars crowd once again, saying: “You know who comes out on a Monday?  People that don’t want the weekend to end,” drawing a roar from everyone in the building and signaling the end of one hell of an event.  It’s shows like this that make me proud of my city; we’re lucky enough to have a big part of hip-hop’s future be from right here, and they’ve proudly repped our town from the past to the present… even while the national attention builds.  The show was too good for the measly $15 ticket (that I still owe B for, as usual).  Of course, the $75 tab made up for that shit… Red Stripe and Hip Hop: Hooray Beer!! 


1 comment:

Benny B said...

Yo, I forgot that Spaceman went off the dome for his North by Northwest verse. That shit was hot!