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Saturday, March 15, 2008

News:: KRS-One Is Superfantastic


It would not be an exaggeration to say that the first 20-25 minutes of KRS-One's show last night at the Marquee was one of the coolest things I have ever seen live and in person. But first I'll recap the start of my evening, which was spent at the Seahorse.

Of course you remember from my preview post that there were three acts playing the Seahorse, The Superfantastics, Dog Day, and Immaculate Machine. I got to the bar at shortly after nine to meet up with Herohill associates Barbara and Malcolm and their friend Danielle. The show was listed as a ten o'clock start, and I was hoping there was a small chance that the show would start somewhere in that neighborhood, thus allowing me to see quite a bit of the show before bolting for the Marquee. Alas, the only action until eleven was an extended soundcheck by Immaculate Machine which saw them play almost all of two songs. I knew nothing about them, but as soundchecks go, I thought they sounded decent.

So as Malcolm spent his time trying to identify the websites IC's drummer was visiting on his laptop from across the bar, we busied ourselves with beer, nachos, and small talk until The Superfantastics took the stage. The crowd had built steadily as the evening went on, so by the time Matt and Steph started playing was large and appreciative. We saw the SF's play during Pop Explosion, and they were solid then, but I thought they were even better last night. It might've been due to the presence of the new songs from Choose Your Destination in their set, which they played with gusto. Lullaby Punches was likely the highlight for me, sounding very faithful to the album version.

Unfortunately I had to head out before the SF's finished their set, Dog Day and Immaculate Machine would have to wait for another day. I would've been quite content to stay there for the full evening, but how often is KRS-One in town? As I was leaving I was shocked/pleased to see how long the line into the Seahorse was, hopefully the bands sold lots of merchandise. Anyway, I was trying to time my arrival at the Marquee to coincide as closely as possible with KRS' start time. I had no idea what time he was going on, so it was all guesswork. I did pretty good though, as by the time I got through the line to get in and the line to use the john, I had only been in the venue for a few minutes by the time KRS came on.

And boy did he come on. When Kris came through the curtain on to the stage, his prescence alone was enough to send the crowd into a frenzy. He simply took off his jacket, grabbed the mic, told the DJ to put his shit on, and proceeded to blow up the spot. I can't stress how comfortable KRS was on the stage, and well he should be, considering how long he's been doing it, but just his presence and the way he controlled the crowd was mucho impressive. The crowd itself was also impressive, very large (as you would hope/expect for this kind of show), very diverse, and fairly well behaved. Well, except for the dude who mashed me in the spine whilst he was poleaxing some drunk sap, but that was the only altercation I saw.

But this night was about KRS and in no way did he dissapoint. Once he figured out which of the four DJ's on stage was controlling the sound, he openned with South Bronx and really didnt't look back. He played pretty much everything you'd want to see KRS do: Criminal Minded, Outta Here, My Philosophy, Sound Of The Police, Hip Hop Lives, Stop The Violence, Love's Gonna Getcha, MC's Act Like They Don't Know, Sound Of The Police, Step Into A World, Black Cop, Still #1 (just a brief taste, but enough) and that's only what I can remember. He also did a stripped down version of You Must Learn while draped in a Canadian flag. Classic stuff.

It wasn't just about reeling off one classic after another, as KRS did his best to bring the essence of hip hop to Halifax. Early in the show he requested any b-boys or b-girls in the house come to the stage and go for theirs while he did Step Into A World. I couldn't really see over the crowd to see anyone had real skills, but it was cool none the less. He then allowed them to stay on the stage while he asked security to hit the bricks. Hip hop for the people this was. Later he did the same for MC's, having any local MC's get on the mic and kick 8 bars. The almighty Ghettosocks led off, followed by Fax-4's Quake, and then after that a whole mess of people I couldn't identify. They did a second session later on, and even more MC's got down, with people like J-Bru and Universal Soul's Tacktishion taking a turn. I think every MC in Halifax got a turn, and KRS was supportive and into most peoples verses (when he wasn't being overshadowed by the zillion people on stage), and some were kind of meh, so kudos to KRS. I was hoping Local Dre would hop on the mic and kick a verse, but I'm not sure I would recognize him if he did.

KRS himself also did plenty of freestyling, working Halifax into plenty of lines to get the crowd hyped, and encouraged the crowd many times to get our Canada on and forget copying what the US does. He freesytled accapella, over straight classical music, and over classic beats like C.R.E.A.M. (Canada Rules Everything Around Me!) and Who Shot Ya. Honestly, if for some reason you didn't think KRS was one of the all-time best MC's, you need to see him live. It was really pretty tremendous all around. I didn't even make it to the end, as the MC cipher was still going strong at 1:35 when I bailed. Who knows, they may all still be rapping at the Marquee tonight. I didn't get a chance to get any video, but there were like 4-5 dudes onstage with cameras, hopefully some of them youtube it up. For now check out some jams from my evening.

MP3:: The Superfantastics - Lullaby Punches @ The Seahorse
MP3:: KRS-One - Outta Here & Sound Of The Police @ The Marquee
MP3:: KRS-One - My Philosophy @ The Marquee

Posted at 9:59 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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