-A.S. It was really cool to see a sold out Congress Theater turn into an all out dance party. The crowd was so hyped up for Girl Talk, that they were even going during the not so great opening acts. It is hard to believe that one man and no live music could garner so much energy, but Gregg Gillis does it with every performance. People are footloose and fancy free from the back of the stage to the last row of the balcony.For all of my photos from the show, CLICK HERE.
Archive for November, 2008
~Z.T.~ One of my favorite things to do late at night, when I should be sleeping, is to look at horrendous diary blogs of people I was once casually friends with. The kinds where the author posts every three months and spends half their posts making excuses why it’s been so long since they last posted. You’ll be reading their latest post in November as they promise to write every day. They posted that in late July.
I’m not going to waste your time on that. I’d rather tell you why I got back into posting. I wrote up this story for College News about the Obama rally and realized I was writing it like a concert review: criticizing the opening band, (National anthem) talking about my crashing techniques to get pizza without waiting in line and discussing the energy level of the crowd.
Like in this picture, I was struggling in the constraints of my non-festival crashing ways. I got some feedback saying, it’s not a concert. It’s a rally. Well, I wanted a concert. So sue me.
I’d like to thank Andy for holding down the fort in my absence, but I miss the crashing. I’m working on a top 32 bands of the entire summer broken down by division and how much I’d pay to see them next tour. I’ve got a Hendrix post that’s half written that I’ll have up. I’m not making any promises on when I’m going to finish any of this. I’m just saying … stay tuned.
~Z.T.~ How do you answer the phone when Ludacris calls? Do you call him Luda? Cris? Since his real name is Christopher Bridges, I figure Cris is appropriate. I decide to just answer, “Hi, this is Zack.” as if I don’t know the best rapper alive is calling me from that 972 area code.
“Hey man, it’s ‘Cris” comes that deep southern voice I know so well (and attempt to mimic so horribly) when I rap along to his records.
MVP of Rap:
‘Cris doesn’t ooze bravado like his contemporaries. He doesn’t have that need to boast about being the best “rapper alive” like Lil’ Wayne or rant and rave about being the second coming like Kanye. He just knows he’s the best.
“I feel like I’m the MVP of this rap game,” he says.“Everyone has monikers for themselves. I’m not taking away from Lil’ Wayne, so I’m the Most Valuable player in the game.” Read the rest of this entry »
-A.S. My friend Matt loves to watch music videos. Sometimes he goes a little overboard with the same videos or cuts off some of my favorite songs before they even get started. It’s like he plays just enough for me to figure out what it was and that I’m mad I’m not hearing it anymore.
Once in a while he pulls a gem out of his rear end. A classic from my childhood that I haven’t seen in some time. Yesterday was one of those days. Usually when Matt tells me he wants to show me a music video, I expect my favorite Lupe Fiasco verse from “Daydreamin'” come to life on screen:
Now come on everybody, let’s make cocaine cool/We need a few more half naked women up in the pool/And hold this MAC-10 that’s all covered in jewels/And can you please put your titties closer to the 22s?/And where’s the champagne? We need champagne/Now look as hard as you can with this blunt in your hand/And now hold up your chain slow motion through the flames/Now cue the smoke machines and the simulated rain
This time it was Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You.” A fantastic video directed by Spike Jonze. One of these days we’re just going to have a Spike Jonze music video tribute, because the list is beyond impressive. Like more impressive than many leather bound books and rich mahogany. After watching the video, check out the background story.
-A.S. Tenacious D returned the favor for the Beastie Boys, and introduced Mix Master Mike to the stage. After showing off his DJ prowess for a bit, the Beastie Boys ran onto the stage. “Body Movin'” brought the crowd, who had remained in the seats for the other bands, to their feet.
Beastie Boys photo from Langerado courtesy of: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.com.
After “Ch-Check it Out” the Beastie Boys went into their comical banter. They informed the crowd that the day’s animal was the Roided Vulture (yes they meant a vulture on steroids) and that the weapon was a branding iron dipped in molten lava.
Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA never stop moving on stage, running in circles, dancing and trading verses with so much energy it’s hard to believe they’ve been doing it for 20 years. The whole crowd shouted with them on “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” and exploded at the intro of “Intergalactic.”
Tenacious D joined the Beastie Boys for the start of their encore, making sure they played with every musician in the house. Jack Black and Kyle Gass rapped along on “Time For Livin,'” after which Ad-Rock informed the crowd that he got a wedgie from it. “Sabatoge” sent all the soon to be voters into the night, hopefully charged with a whole new motivation to Get Out and Vote.
-A.S. David Crosby and Graham Nash sounded almost as old as they looked. Their harmonies weren’t as pristine as I remembered them being when I saw CSNY a few years back. They also didn’t play much stuff that would be classified as greatest hits.
After Crosby missed a couple of lyrics, Nash pointed out that Crosby only had 18 brain cells left. Aside from the mostly political tunes they played, “Teach Your Children” was a highlight. To close their set, Crosby and Nash welcomed Tenacious D back to the stage to do “Find the Cost of Freedom.” The four-part harmonies sounded great, and ended Crosby and Nash’s short set on a high note.
-A.S. The Beastie Boys took the stage to a roar from the crowd. MCA asked one crowd member why they waited 20 years to see them. Ad-Rock chimed in, asking where the person was the last time they were in town. Mike D added in some banter about drinking a bacon Bloody Mary in Milwaukee. The goofiness from the 3 MCs set the tone, as they introduced Tenacious D.
Jack Black and Kyle Gass did their stretches onstage to warm up, and surprised me by opening with “Kielbasa Sausage” at a Get Out and Vote concert. Next up was “The History of Tenacious D,” which Black assured the crowd were feats they had actually accomplished and not just a list of B.S.This photo of Zack and Kyle Gass at Rothbury is Zack’s first appearance on the blog in almost a month.
Black asked Gass who he was voting for, and when he replied with undecided, Black launched into a verbal assault on Gass. This prompted Gass to storm off the stage, mooning the crowd on the way out. Black told the crowd he was thankful that Gass’ shirt protected them from a full moon. Black lured Gass back to the stage with “Dude (I Totally Miss You).”
Other antics from the D included Black playing baby making music on a toy saxophone while Gass boogied with his pants around his ankles. During “The Government Totally Sucks” Black wiped out while trying to walk onto a speaker rack at the front of the stage. He shot up, informing the crowd that he was ok. At songs end, he said that he hoped nobody was YouTubing his fall.
Black said he asked Crosby and Nash if they were playing “Ohio” and since they weren’t, Black and Gass sang a bit of the song until Black decided they were butchering a classic. During “City Hall” Black had two decrees to make. One was the legalization of marijuana. The other was legalizing gay marriage, “because they are human beings.” All Gass could come up with was no more male butt floss on the beach.
If I was surprised at the opener, I was even more so to hear “F*ck Her Gently.” After, the crowd sang along to every word of “Tribute.” Then Black went all Ron Burgundy on the crowd, saying he wished he could make love to every single one of us. That segued into a song about wanting to “f*ck the nation.”
-A.S. Ben Harper took the stage first for the Get Out and Vote Concert in Milwaukee last night. He was without the Innocent Criminals, and introduced his current band as the Relentless Seven. Harper led his new band through a politically charged set, that was kicked off with “Keep it Together.” His drummer rocked out and managed to sing back up on “Better Way” as Harper was wailing on the lap slide guitar.
After a few more tunes with political undertones, it was time for some fun. As Harper’s bass player began the riff to “Under Pressure,” Tenacious D joined the Relentless Seven onstage. Jack Black and Kyle Gass sang along with Harper for the song, and pranced around the stage while they weren’t singing. Harper left the crowd with the simple message “It’s Up To You Know.”
-A.S. Much of the crowd was costumed as Lupe Fiasco took the stage in his finest threads Friday night, sauntering onto the stage wearing a black tux, gold scarf and a top hat. Lupe quite literally kicked things off for his hometown crowd with his skateboard anthem “Kick, Push.” The crowd hung on his every word, danced and the ambiance was just that much more festive with all the concert goers dressed up for Halloween. It may have also have had something to do with the fact that Lupe told the crowd they were recording the show for a live album and DVD.
Crowd pleasers continued as Lupe told the crowd that he liked hip hop because “Hip Hop Saved My Life” “Go Go Gadget Flow,” the song Lupe penned about Chicago had the whole crowd singing about the “city in the Midwest, best city in the whole wide world” and roaring with applause as his guitar player wailed on a solo with his teeth. Lupe also welcomed GemStones to the stage to “Dumb it Down.”
Lupe Fiasco traded in the all white tux from Lollapalooza for a black one on Halloween.
After Matthew Santos was introduced to the stage for “Streets on Fire,” Lupe had an announcement for the crowd. He told the crowd that he was only going to make one more album, but he had bigger news. The album will be titled LupE.N.D. and it will be 3 discs. The ‘E’ is for one disc and stands for Everywhere. The ‘N’ is the second disc and stands for Nowhere. The ‘D’ is the final disc and stands for Down Here (although my friend Anna thinks he said Down Hill).
Santos appeared onstage with an acoustic guitar and began strumming the intro to “Superstar.” It began stripped down, with a slower tempo but built into the song that Lupe’s fans have come to know and love. It was a great version of the song, and I look forward to seeing it on the DVD. The show ended with “Daydreamin,'” which featured Santos and Sarah Green on vocals.
Lupe flashing his pearly whites at the crowd in Denver at Mile High.
Lupe proved again that he his among the upper echelon of performers. He is engaging, and always leaves his crowd wanting more. To be totally honest, I don’t know that a live disc/DVD and a triple disc album are going to be enough to quench my thirst for Lupe Fiasco’s music.