Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review: Ces Cru and Steddy P. at the Beaumont Club

The sound system blew out at a record release party I attended last month. The evening's host gamely cajoled the record label's artists into performing acoustic sets. Disaster ensued. The rappers were unable to freestyle and the vocalists couldn't sing.

The result was entirely different when the laptop containing Ces Cru's music crashed Tuesday at the Beaumont Club.

"We're getting organic on you because it's real f***ed up in here," admitted Ces Cru's Ubiquitious.

The Kansas City hip hop duo dazzled with an a cappella set that showcased their impeccable skills and improvisational mentality.

"Ces Cru unplugged!" shouted Godemis. "Who knew?"

I've seen Ces Cru perform about a dozen times. I've never appreciated them more.

I wish I could say the same about Steddy P.. I admire almost everything about the guy. His most recent release, Style Like Mind, was one of my favorite albums of 2009. (The list is in the column on the right.) Although he performed with a live band- something I ordinary love in hip hop- I just wasn't feeling his effort Tuesday.

Poor pacing was a problem even before Steddy P. allowed the band to perform two original songs. Their effort sounded like the first rehearsal of a Limp Bizkit cover band. Maybe it was an off night. Or maybe Ces Cru's stellar appearance spoiled everything that followed. Consequently, I didn't stick around for The Flobots' headlining appearance.

I was surprised that only 300 people bothered to show up for The Flobots. The concert was free and the band's breakthrough song hit only two years ago. I guess I'm not alone in thinking "Handlebars" is impossibly annoying.

Step aside, Erykah Badu. Akwid's "California" is now my favorite song of 2010.

Joel Francis visits the ruins of Gennett Records. His photographs are fascinating and he provides background here.

Kansas City Click: Alacartoona plays the early show Thursday at Jardine's.

(Ces Cru photo by Martin Diggs.)

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