Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Review: Lupe Fiasco, S-Preme and Les Izmore at The Midland

If you'd like to read a proper review of Sunday's Steppin' Laser concert, I recommend my friend Joel Francis' account of the proceedings. The Pitch also covered the show and offers excellent photos. My notes follow.

I wasn't terribly impressed with Lupe Fiasco's outing. I was riveted, however, by the energy emitted by his 600 fans at the Midland. If I ranked concerts by the quality of the audience, Sunday's event would almost certainly place in my year-end top five.

Much of Fiasco's set sounded uncomfortably like Linkin Park. I longed for some of the iciness contained on Fiasco's 2007 album The Cool but I kept getting reminded of "Numb" instead.

I was miffed at B.o.B. for dropping off Fiasco's tour for a day so that he could appear at Coachella. (Here's fan footage.) Just because you have a hit record with Paramore's Hayley Williams doesn't make it acceptable to blow off Kansas City. And why goof around with a small-time blogger when There Stands the Glass has been on you for years?

Consequently, I was down on Chicago hopeful S-Preme even before he started. S-Preme looked and sounded a lot like Drake. That's not a complement coming from me.

The night's real star was Les Izmore. In just thirty minutes, he led the crowd in a few rounds of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," clowned with fellow Soul Provider Dutch Newman, got serious with D/Will, freestyled and led a pared-down version of his Fela-inspired band Hearts of Darkness. Very impressive.

I was still trying to organize a road trip to St. Louis to see Nigerian juju star King Sunny Ade when I learned that the tour had been canceled due to a tragic accident. Details are here. (Tip via R.G. and L.I.)

I lose respect for artists who feel compelled to publicly "celebrate" April 20. Please stop embarrassing yourselves.

A new BBC feature on Wanda Jackson made me smile.

More than once I've attempted to get hip hop heads to share my love of jazz by playing them Gang Starr and Guru albums. It never worked. Guru died yesterday.

Kansas City Click: Howard Iceberg, Ben Summers and Gary Cloud play Tuesday's early show at Davey's Uptown.

Phoenix headline at the Uptown Theater on Wednesday.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)


ghb5 said...

Thanks for the kind words. If it makes you feel better, Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda (also the man behind Fort Minor) produced a handful of Lupe's tracks, including "The Instrumental."

Happy In Bag said...

Really? Man, sometimes I impress myself.

Did you see that B.o.B hit #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 today?