Review of Main Street Live Summer Showcase at Fortune Sound Club.
Vancouver’s monthly showcase for live Hip Hop kicked off its latest installment in the ever comfortable surroundings of Fortune with an early crowd already eager for fresh sounds. A diverse bill including two full bands promised to be the opening of another chapter in the scene’s development, a promise that would be more than fulfilled.
First up to bat, Low Lux, Young Nige and DJ K-Rec of Friends With The Help come fresh off the release of their latest video “As The Light Hits You” and a string of high energy performances, taking the stage with ever sharpened wit and a controlled hyperactivity that makes for a gripping live act. Performing a fast paced set of tracks from their self-titled mixtape and recently released “Confidence” album, the Friends balance eloquent introspection with good-natured braggadocio and charm. Closing tracks “Get Out Of Bed” and the recent video single had the crowd entranced with their revelatory lyrics and epic beats, and lifted the vibe to a level of true artistry without pretension. K-Rec’s masterful scratches laced the set with flavour throughout, and his productions range from the subtle to the symphonic.
Next up, the duo of Atticus and G-Boxx, backed by DJ Seductive, dropped an ill throwback vibe heavy on the boombap. With G-Boxx’s consistent beatbox filling out the bass heavy productions, Atticus kicked tracks from his latest CD “The Boo Radley Album” reminiscent of Classified but with more bite.
And then from out of left field, the funkonauts of Deep Seated needed no introduction but the blast of their horn section to announce their arrival. It would seem that most Hip Hop heads are relatively unaccustomed to the sound of a full-on band, and with congas, slap bass and three part harmonies all preaching the gospel, the crowd was soon dissolved into a mass of movement as they proceeded to get their freak on.
As if to shock us back into the present (and future…) Heatwave and the Vandettas represented for the latest sounds emerging from the merger of Alt-Rock and Hip Hop, reminiscent of the best Gorillaz tracks. With Heatwave spitting the realness, Thom Yorke-esque vocals from the bassist, skull crushing drumming and K-Rec once again on the decks, The Vandettas sound approaches stadium status, with catchy hooks, massive beats and overall dopeness.
Finally it was Panther and the Supafly’s job to close out the evening, and he did so well with his massive dookie chain swinging in time to his fly party rhymes. Nothing too deep but exactly what was called for, Panther’s youthful verve ended the party on a high note of optimism.
All in all, an excellent representation of the diversity of VanCity’s Hip Hop scene on a party tip, Main Street Live continues to be the best night in town for quality performers and good vibes.