Thursday, April 26, 2018

Concert Review: Injury Reserve and Jpegmafia at the Encore Room

Two of Kanye West’s most accomplished artistic progeny performed in Kansas City hours after the incalcitrant star’s infamous tweetstorm made headlines on Wednesday.  About 150 noise-rap enthusiasts heard Injury Reserve and Jpegmafia respond to West’s latest outburst at the Encore Room while performing music inspired by Yeezus and 808s & Heartbreak.

Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks, the Baltimore man who performs as Jpegmafia, was apoplectic about the series of tweets in which West endorsed the current president.  Hendricks processed his disappointment in the man he admitted was “my favorite artist” by screaming the lyrics of songs including “Rock N Roll is Dead,” “I Cannot Fucking Wait Until Morrissey Dies” and “Baby I’m Bleeding” while surrounded by rowdy fans in front of the stage in an inflammatory 40-minute opening set.

“You guys are one of the few mosh pits to defeat me- you knocked me down,” Hendricks noted.

The Arizona trio Injury Reserve wasn’t quite as confrontational during an hour-long headlining outing that included special effects that resembled a budget version of West’s lavish stage shows.  An anemic blast of artificial snow showered Stepa J. Groggs on one song while snarky messages like the pictured statement flashed across video screens during others. 

The visuals may have been scroungy, but first-rate renditions of Injury Reserve bangers like “Oh Shit!!!” and “See You Sweat” definitely helped make America great again on an extremely challenging day for hip-hop heads.

I write weekly concert previews for The Kansas City Star.

I note the passing of Luqman Hamza at Plastic Sax.

Bob Dorough has died.

There was a time when I would have been smitten by Renee Rosnes’ Beloved of the Sky.  The pianist is joined by a cast of heavyweights (Chris Potter, Steve Nelson, Peter Washington and Lenny White) on the melodic mainstream jazz album.  Beloved of the Sky may be faultless, but the style doesn’t interest me in 2018.

(Original image captured at Injury Reserve’s show by There Stands the Glass.)

No comments: