Friday, June 23, 2017

K’naan @ ACL TV Taping

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Posted by shore On October - 2 - 2009

knaanacltv @AndyShore Longtime Festival Crashers friend Bennett Leader put it perfectly. Seeing the taping of the first ever hip hop show on ACL TV was a perfect amuse-bouche to the feast that is the ACL festival this weekend. The studio is an intimate room with the Austin skyline lit up in the background. The furthest seat in the studio is one of the best seats in any other venue. K’naan took the stage, and immediately apologized for his “weird hat” and asked the crowd to get over it.

From there, it was as if K’naan was performing to each individual member of the studio audience. He fed off of banter from the crowd, had everyone singing along and hanging on his every word. He voiced his anti gangster rap stance, and told the crowd “T.I.A.” was about taking those rappers on a field trip. K’naan was primed to shine, backed by guitar, bass, a drummer who also played keys and another on percussion/back-up vox/samples.

The hour long set heavily featured tracks off of K’naan’s latest album, Troubadour. He explained that his original version of “Somalia” was so depressing he switched it up for the album so people wouldn’t “cut their wrists,” but offered up an a cappella/spoken word version of the original take. K’naan told the crowd he wouldn’t play another sad song, and then proceeded to play “Fatima,” a song about a girl he knew in Somalia who was shot and killed. When an audience member called him out, K’naan explained. “Sometimes I lie. Not during songs, but between them.” This was followed by the entire crowd singing the chorus with K’naan.

K’naan brought the energy back up with “Bang Bang” and had the crowd moving. To close his show, he began “Wavin’ Flag.” After moving through the chorus a couple of times, he stopped when the crowd didn’t take his cue to sing along and laughingly requested they do so. From there, it was a sing-a-long to the end. If you have never seen or heard of this fast rising artist, I cannot suggest enough that you check him out (see him Friday at ACL). K’naan certainly put on the better show of the two, and even managed to be a highlight of Mos Def’s set.

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