Believe the Hype

Not much blogging lately. After work yesterday, almost immediately we headed towards North Myrtle Beach because Public Enemy was playing the House of Blues. We’re getting on towards the 20th anniversary of when I first saw them live, and they still kicked it. They messed with expectations some by playing several songs without Flava Flav. Just when you had resigned yourself that maybe he was off doing some TV reality show nonsense and that his role would be filled by Professor Griff, he came rolling out on stage and the energy level popped up a notch. They had a three piece backing band that really rocked. I’d never seen them in a configuration like this, which gave the songs high energy but low fidelity to how they sounded on record. Not a problem for me, but might be for some.

There was a point about 30 minutes in where I thought this might have been the best of all the times that I saw them. The middle flagged some, and there was an extended Flava-centric portion that I thought was too much. He’s the cayenne in this gumbo – you miss the kick when he’s not there, but you don’t want to make a meal of just that. The kicked it back up for the last 20 minutes and really finished with a bang. It wasn’t just the hits that were moving me, several of the newer songs that I’d never heard before were some of the best of the night. Next for for them, Austin and SXSW. I’d recommend catching them if you can.

Overall, it was a great show and now us old folks are feeling the effects of it. The crowd on average was pretty middle aged. Lots of people my age, plus or minus a few years. I had actually expected the audience to be overwhelmingly white but it was probably 50/50. All around the Grand Strand, there a sleepy 40 year olds bobbing their heads and reaching for the coffee.

3 Replies to “Believe the Hype”

  1. We’ve got three teenage musicians in the family, and the oldest sets the tone for the younger ones. He recently discovered — on his own — Public Enemy, Parliament and the Ohio Players. I busted out the old Public Enemy cassette collection and we had an interesting conversation about hip hop, funk, R&B.

    I don’t like much of the new hip-hop, but it’s funny how the kids who discover Public Enemy on their own have similar reactions to mine. So I have lots of hope for this generation.

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