Monday, July 30, 2007

Rock The Bells (Day 1) Pt Deux

The People

Where to start? The Wu Tang Clan were amazing, even with a missing GZA for the first part. RZA had to cover for him on 'Shadowboxing', but GZA made it to stage halfway through his set and showed the crowd where he may be the premier lyricist of the group.

Mos Def was somehow a little uninspiring and self-involved it seemed. Such a great talent, but I think we, the people, will always be rooting for him to come back to his Black Star/Black On Both Sides days. His focus was so much stronger. His partner in crime Talib Kweli has actually only been getting better. He used to awkwardly not be able to ride a beat during a live performance but he's really stepped his game up and outshone Mos for most of the set.

Seeing Cypress Hill was a childhood dream come through, ever since listening to my Cypress cassette tapes and learning all the words. And wow, they were amazing. My personal favorite performance of the day. The music still resonates so strongly and the DJ Muggs beats are still so good. Vintage yet relevant.

Rage Against The Machine was obviously amazing. I hadn't seen them since 1994 when during their performance at Pinkpop the crowd jumping up and down actually officially registered a small earthquake (1.1 Richter Scale).

The Roots were solid as always and put on an amazing JBs-like jam that grooved so hard. Who knew Black Thought could sing that well?

The New York Times wrote up Rock The Bells, and pointed out one of the more interesting moments.

...Public Enemy, which endures despite some evident personal friction. “I was in the middle of something, Chuck,” said Flavor Flav, when Chuck D tried to start a song too soon. Did Chuck D wince in response?

It definitely was a bit of a toe cringing moment as Flavor Flav refused to cut his standard self-congratulatory bit of the show short, which in all reasonableness really shouldn't have been a problem with the time constraints of a 45 minute set. I've seen him do the same exact bit before, and it's a little sad, a little touching, and a little bit long as he thanks the audience for watching his VH 1 Shows, introduces his kids (always different ones it seems), and gives us a 2 minute version of his trademark phrase "Yea Boyyyyyyyy". But Chuck took it in grace and saved the show.

Redman and Flavor Flav Embrace

For more go to BrooklynVegan.

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