Over The Weekend: B-Real and Bizzy Bone at Purgatory
June 20, 2009
Better than: just slowin' down in an Escalade to peep.
Live hip-hop is what it is: Pound-for-pound against traditional live music, it's a step-sister of the karaoke family--vocals set to a recording.
It's a crapshoot, at best, for how entertaining it's going to be. And this night was, no matter how you slice it, a bad night for live hip-hop.
Or so it seemed at first.
Turns out, B-Real had canceled his performance--and, when Bizzy Bone arrived, he took his act upstairs, to the already-crowded "Heaven" level of the club, treating that room's club patrons to a free performance--whether they wanted it or not. A drink-in-hand, impromptu performance, starring a parade of collaborators... and the crowd went wild.
Earlier, the opening acts were sentenced to start in the tinty echo of the "Hell" level, to a sparse, unenthusiastic crowd. But, by 1:30, Bizzy, following a brief, impromptu live set upstairs, had taken the charge back down "Hell" (Oh, sweet irony..), and finally drawn a crowd of people in that room.
He hosted a re-presentation of practically every artist on the bill--at breakneck speed, too.
In short, the star of Bone Thugs 'N Harmony came through in fine form, and delivered a professional, cutting set of good lyric-spittin' groove--even continuing to perform through the menace of last-call house lights.
No bones about it, Bizzy saved this event from certain disaster. He led a high-pressure, last-minute showcase that was actually entertaining. And was well worth the wait.
By The Way: SKS stood out among the openers, with a notable and threatening drive in delivery. Worth closer inspection, I'd say.
Random note: Sad to see this show fall to (circumstance) relocation, and relegated to Purgatory, instead of the top notch production--and wide open space--of The Max. It could have truly been an all around good night in its original venue.