Last week we covered TV on the Radio and Boxed In’s season opening show at the garden park nestled under the Annenberg Space for Photography. This week, we returned, covering a decidedly more dance friendly show in De La Soul backed up by Quantic. Surprisingly, this show reached capacity at the 5,000 person holding space even quicker than last week’s show. Likely, the result of De La Soul’s status as legends of the late 80’s golden era of hip-hop.
British born but largely world-influenced producer Will Holland came first on this evening with his Quantic project. While on albums, a largely sequenced affair using a variety of loops and live instruments, this show was a full live set featuring a six-piece band and numerous guest vocalists. The band’s sound draws from a wide range of Latin musical movements, but this approximation settled nicely in the playful vein of Tropicalia. As a cadre of guest vocalists took turns leading the performance the packed audience danced with glee up-and-down the descending terraces of the courtyard.
The now 28-year old hip-hop group De La Soul finished up the night with an upbeat, driven set. The trio comprised of Posdnuos, Dave and DJ Maseo came to the stage with determined energy. Starting off the show urging the crowd to participate, they were demanding to the point of an almost Axl Rose level of insistence. The group even stopped their second song multiple times to even demand the photographers in the photo pit join in and pump their hands, claiming they would happily stop the song over and over again if their demands were not met. As the set progressed Maseo happily came out from behind the 1’s and 2’s to join in the stage antics of the two emcees, shouting along on key lyrics jovially interacting with every phrase of the song.
A short while later Dave and Posdnuos divided up the crowd into competing halves, stating some friendly competition was good. Dave took to naming both halves and called one half Meek Mill and the other half Drake (a reference to the recent ghost writer controversy beef that had dominated headlines this week). They then urged the crowd to scream along on the opening “ahh” shouts of “Ego Trippin’ (Part Two).” Dave perhaps took it too far claiming his side of the audience was good, but that the other side could, “Go jump in a lake.” Still, while it may have been a tad pit on the aggressive side, the set was lively through every song, and the audience was on their feet.
“A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturday” kept the crowd’s enthusiasm up before the trio dropped in their perhaps most famous single, “My Myself and I.” The song itself a playful refutation of their perceived status as hippy rappers, the Funkadelic sampling song is a solid display of everything the band does so well. The group ended off with a drawn out performance of “Rock Co.Kane Flow,” complete with dramatic pauses to let the crowd cheer urging them on to resume the song. Overall, it was a great show and a solid presentation how the conventional rap group setup (DJ/MC) doesn’t have to make for a bad show.