Last Night: Talib Kweli, Ozomatli and Surprise Special Guest Bun B Rock RedBull's SoundClash at the Palladium Ballroom
October 28, 2010
Better Than: Anything else worth the $10 ticket price.
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On the remaining empty sides, there was a DJ and a host for the night. And in the middle of this square of stages? Well over 1,000 fans.
The stage--I mean stages--were set for Red Bull's SoundClash pitting Talib Kweli & The Rhythm Roots Allstars against Ozomatli.
There was also more energy than even Red Bull could handle: Talib Kweli and Ozomatli put on a show that was both exhilarating and exciting, with thoroughly entertaining surprises in each round of their competition to win over the crowd's affection.
The attitude of Ozomatli was a fairly competitive one: "Really, what it's about is a performance" Wil-Dog said. "And who's the best."
And share they did.
Ozomatli played first and and got the crowd going. They brought their signature Latin funk sound to the delight of a lot of dancing women everywhere. Then the other stage turned on, and the Rhythm Roots AllStars began to play with Talib Kweli entering the stage to a crowd of screaming fans chanting "Kweli! Kweli!"
He chose Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher." Ozomtali proceeded to play a heavy metal version of the song, with everyone playing at the same time to create a headbanging experience. To up the ante, they brought in a mariachi band of women with violins to give it a Latin-metal taste. The results was something that had a lot of people doing something between a headbang and a salsa dance.
Kweli answered with a hip-hop version of "Hot for Teacher," rapping the verses and singing the chorus. His was a less noisy version with a slower tempo, giving a feel reminiscent of Aerosmith and Run DMC's "Walk this Way."
Crowd response crowned Ozomatli that round's winner.
Bun B joined Kweli on stage--suddenly leapfrogging Kweli as the biggest name in the house. With the Texas legend beside him, Kweli and his band performed a rendition of Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'"--a tough act for any band to follow.
Ozmotli had something in the works, though. As Bun B and Talib Kweli finished, the crowd turned around to Ozomatli's stage only to find it dark, with only one guy in a Halloween mask on it. When the bass line from "Thriller" came on, it became clear who he was--a Michael Jackson impersonator, and one who actually looked and acted pretty much like the real thing, Thriller dance and all. Ozomatli's entire band then joined him to create a choreographed fiesta of fun.
Too bad Bun B had already stolen the show. In a landslide, Kweli won the final round--and with it the entire competition. And for his encore victory song, Kweli invited Ozomotli to his stage, where they all began to play "I Try" in unision.
It was reminiscent of Kweli drummer Fish's statement earlier in the night. He was right. At the end of the day, no one really cared about the competition.
Besides, it didn't matter. Ozomotli didn't win. Talib Kweli didn't win.
Bun B won.