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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fresh Rhymes And Videotape Tour Comes to Austin

I did it again ladies and gentleman. I won some tickets off M.E. Television's website. This time, it was two tickets to check out the Dilated Peoples tour, creatively titled "Fresh Rhymes And Videotape". All I knew about who was on the bill with them was hip hop super producer and MC, The Alchemist. Now this was not my first Dilated Peoples show(won't be my last either). I saw them at Stubbs indoor a couple years ago when they played with Little Brother. It was a good show then, but judging from the tour bus you see pictured here, it seemed that this tour was a little bigger. The venue was bigger this time around as well as the show was at Emo's (outside). I got there super early to make sure everything was cool and I was on the guest list. I had no trouble as M.E. took care of me.

Once inside it was empty and the only people there associated with the tour were the merch guys. To tell you how hot it was, I wasn't drinking anything but bottled water instead of my usual Lone Star. I picked up some free promo stickers at the merch table as I do enjoy some good schwag (not a weed reference by the way). Shortly there after, I heard someone take the mic and start calling people to the stage. "Cool" I thought as I was already tired of waiting. It had to be the heat as I am a pretty patient and chill dude.

The opening act was a rapper by the name of 88-Keys. I had never heard of him ppreviously. For all I knew he was local. Normally I would would have done my homework but I did not find out I was going to be at this concert until the day of. So, I was looking forward to being surprised. Truthfully, I wasn't really expecting much from an opening act. This dude surprised me though.I was just kind of listening at first, bobbing my head as the beats were good. He was backed by a beautiful lady DJ named Syncity who was part of his live act also. He told the story of his friend "Adam". Adam's story was worked into his whole set as he creatively changed costumes with almost each new song. Him and DJ Syncity were both fun, funny, energetic and cool. I look forward to hearing more from him and his new album he said was coming out. There is a song on there with Kanye West. Check out this clip from my you tube page. It's 88-Keys as Kanye:

L.A. rapper Aceyalone (pronounced like A-C-Alone) took the stage shortly after 88-Keys was done. Aceyalone performed with his tour DJ, Hines Buchanan. Now I had heard of Aceyalone before but never got the opportunity to see him live. What I had heard from various magazines, blogs and/or internet sites was that he somehow never got the recognition he deserved despite getting some good reviews. As he got started the crowd was a little bigger and I was already in a good mood from 88-Key's set. His rhymes were good and beats were dope, but the set was just alright for me. I can't put my finger on it. Now understand that "alright" doesn't mean awful, because he was far from awful. I was telling friend about the show and he emailed me an mp3 file of Aceyalone's CD called "A Book of Human Language". I was honestly blown away by how good that was. Maybe it was the Texas heat affecting him. No Pacific Ocean sea breeze here in Texas to cool you off. If he comes back around, I will definitely check him out again.

Following Aceyalone, I (and the whole front row) was expecting The Alchemist to come out next. However there were rumors going around the crowd somehow that he was not there. It seemed that way as DJ Babu, tour DJ for Dilated Peoples was setting up. People were starting to wonder. Then immediately after Evidence and Rakaa came out we all forgot or stopped caring for the moment. In typical Dilated People fashion, they came out with lots of energy and excitement.

I tell you what, Dilated Peoples never disappoint. I love it when bands or artists feel their own work and are passionate about it on stage versus treating it like just another paid performance. Emo's was packed at this point and everyone was bobbing their heads to DJ Babu's beats. Here is the interesting thing to about Monday night. According to Evidence, the technical difficulties that they were having were due to a hard drive crashing on what I guess was DJ Babu's laptop. In true DJ form, Babu did the whole set live versus running the show from a file off a hard drive. That's how it was done before laptops, so good thing they have a real DJ in Babu on boardrunning things. That wasn't the surprise of the night though.

Remember when I mentioned that The Alchemist was rumored to not be performing as scheduled after all? Well Evidence addressed that with the crowd and gave him a call from his cell live on stage. Just when we all thought he was a no show, out he comes! The Alchemist did indeed join Dilated Peoples on stage and gave the crowd what they came for...to come hear "Hold You Down" live. Sure there was no Nina Sky, but is was the highlight of The Alchemist's performance for me.

Speaking of surprises on stage, Evidence pulled a guy from the crowd on stage. He did so because he had a Dilated Peoples tattoo on his arm. That devoted fan was Bill Alverson. You can see the tattoo here in the picture with him and Evidence. This just goes to show how cool and down to earth the Dilated Peoples are. At the last Dilated Peoples show I attended at Stubbs, they stayed after to sign autographs and take pictures. They always do that. Other than their amazing sound, this is why they have such loyal die hard fans. Not all will end up with tattoos like Bill's but will always come to their show when in their city. They ended their set with their biggest hits "I Can't Live My Life" and "First Things First". Both Hip Hop classics if you ask me. Hopefully they will be back in Austin again soon as I imagine they will. They seem to do well here and people love them.

My only complaint and/or request is for them to bring some vinyl to sell with their merch. I would have bought a record and had them sign it. Remember that for me please next time if you read this. It would mean a lot to me and many other fans. Finally, if you missed the show you can check out the you tube clips I took from my camera.


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2 comments:

Mr. Curiosity said...

Excellent review.

anna said...

I love Ev. If he lived in Europe I'd surely marry him!