I’m convinced that the best times are had at events you force yourself to attend.
I met my ex at an outing that I was thisclose to not attending.
Okay, maybe that’s a bad example.
When I heard Q-Tip was coming back to town in support of The Renaissance, I was THERE. No question. I was even going to overlook the opening acts which I couldn’t care less about, Pacific Division, Knux, and The Cool Kids. I mean as much as I am loving Renaissance, I just had to be there to see it come alive on stage.
Sunday came so quickly. I was just returning from a great holiday in New Jersey despite a 3 hour ride that turned into 6. It was nasty and cold outside and I was thinking of every excuse in the book to remain stretched out on my pillow top mattress watching every football game that came on the boob tube.
Thank God I didn’t give in to my laziness or I would have missed yet another show that must make my 2008 list of top concerts of the year. (It’s already apparent that this will have to be a top 10 list and not a top 5).
I got there about an hour and a half after doors opened. It would have been later but I didn’t want to be pushed too far to the back. Much to my chagrin, I got there just in time for the Knux and The Cool Kids. From the audience reaction, I guess they were aiight. Not my type of hype. I was there to see one person and one person only. Anything else was just a distraction.
In retrospect, I wish I had caught Pacific Division. DJ YZO of Industry Soul pointed me to some clips on You Tube and told me to stop sleeping. I would have given them a listen had I made it there in time. They are pretty nice with theirs.
However, I was there for the main event. When Kaamal the Abstract took the stage, opening with “Shaka,” the energy was incredible as you’ll be able to tell from my footage.
Disclaimer. This is far from my best work. Not only was I not up front in my “reserved spot,” where I would have likely been shut down from recording, but also you’ll see that I definitely need to upgrade to a motion stabilizing camera ASAP.
The best way I could describe this show is a Rock The Bells Part II. And you know how much I enjoyed that. Once again, we were in the presence of a true emcee commanding the stage. Not some saggy assed big dummy walking to and fro aimlessly mumbling like he’s got a mouth full of shit. Like this guy. *sucks teeth in disgust*
And as you can see, the energy and the love was amazingly high for his entire set, just as it was at Rock The Bells. I died several deaths throughout the evening, particularly while watching this white guy,, who later told me he was 40, literally jump up and down for 5 minutes straight like his draws were filled with Mexican jumping beans.
Once again, like a real entertainer, Q-Tip’s set list was a perfect blend of the new and old. He held us down with just the right blend of Tribe, early solo material, and tracks from Renaissance, which of course I was most anxious to hear. So many songs on the album beg for live instrumentation. I actually felt like he looked at my top rated list on the pod as he performed all my favorites except for Manwomanboogie.
We Fight/We Love f Raphael Saadiq
I thought I would crave Raphael actually singing live on this one (which would have been hot of undoubtedly). But between Q-Tip tearing up that tambourine and getting his croon on a bit, I barely even noticed. He held it down quite nicely.
This was one of the highlights of the night for me as this is probably in my top two favorite songs on the album. The lyrics are saying a lot. I love how he started the song off and and the band is killing it, making it a bit more uptempo.
Move (he didn’t have to tell me twice!)
While Q-Tip was away taking all that hot shit off preparing to return for his encore, DJ Scratch got busy on the 1s and 2s.
He slayed us to the point that Q-Tip had to make sure it was alright to retake his own stage! Much of the second half of the show was filled with classics like “Award Tour,” “Scenario,” “Check the Rhime,” “Relax Yourself,” and my all time fave “Bonita Applebaum.” They had the video playing on the screen while he was performing.
I also got my performance of “Vivrant Thing” in it’s entirety. I will die a happy woman.
Gettin Up / Vivrant Thing
He ended the night on the perfect note (for me) with a performance of “Life Is Better,” which is probably the other song in my top two. He came down into the audience so that we could get involved.
When it was over, people were still hanging by the stage, thirsty for more. I was right there with them! I was indeed so happy that I decided to come out. It’s nights like this and this and this that make me remember when I used to actually purchase hip hop cassettes. Back in the days when I used to love h.e.r.
I hope you already have The Renaissance but if you should need more convincing because you think Viv is biased and shit, check out this great review (and look around a bit while you’re at it).
As always, the remainder of the videos I didn’t highlight like “Feva,” “Renaissance Rap,” “Verses from the Abstract,” and “God Lives Through” are over on my You Tube channel for your viewing pleasure. That thing is about to explode at 575 videos to date. Hey, I love music.