Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review & Photos : RJD2 and Kenan Bell @ Emo's

It's rare that as a concertgoer, you get to see what a full performance is like. A show, with different dimensions, however far reaching, is hard to come by. RJD2's performance at Emo's on Saturday night did just that. There were so many dimensions to his performance that the $18 cover charge was well worth the price and the fans thought so too because the venue was at capacity before RJD2 hit the stage.

Happy Chichester started things off, but not on the right foot. Most if not all of the crowd was itching to get dancing, have a good time and keep warm on the cold February night (which, by the way, all of the acts remarked how warm it was compared to their other gigs) but Chichester just wasn't doing it for most. He was pleased to be there and had a few people shouting "Happy!", but after he left the stage, the crowd had no energy.

That all changed with Kenan Bell. Bell, somewhat of an internet buzz machine with his remixes of Pink Floyd and Jose Gonzalez and rapping over The Smiths, really got things started. With the backing band and Bell's ability to work the crowd, nearly everyone was transfixed and surprised by his talent. He's worth a listen.

RJD2, as I said earlier, put on a full, multi-dimensional show. He came out in a jumpsuit with reflective tape all over it with some kind of beat-making sequencer pad attached to his crotch on kind of a lazy susan. When he turned around, the back of the jumpsuit read "Commisioner Crotchbuttons". Needless to say, the show started off on the right foot. After the Crotchbuttons intro, RJ headed behind the turntables and started the set off with a mix of his Mad Men theme song which got just about everybody dancing. I almost forgot he composed the theme for the show and it was a pleasant surprise to hear it right off the bat. From there, the set continued on the turntables and then went to the full band, where they pulled from RJD2's latest release, The Colossus. After the band portion was finished, RJ went back behind the turntables and used a video camera to show the crowd the intricacies of his set up and what he was doing to make the music they were hearing. His sequencing pad had a portion of the Donkey Kong music programmed to each button and he brought out a Mario puppet who jumped over a barrel while the music played. All this played out on the screen behind him, played through the camera he had set up. It was quite the set up and one of the most unique aspects to the show. The differences between each act of the performance and the fact that they worked well together made for a fun and interesting evening.

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