Archive for March, 2001
A friend and I had the pleasure of taking a road trip to Peoria, Illinois last week to witness the tenth stop of Run DMC’s Spring 2001 tour.
I’ll give a brief rundown of the set before I make a few comments on the evening as a whole.
The Kings of Rock opened with the usual Jam Master Jay introduction on the turntables. If you’ve ever seen them in concert, you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to.
DMC stomped out second and the crowd (of maybe 200) really got going. Finally DJ Run appeared and they dropped right into a loud version of “King of Rock.”
They played all the hits including “Rock Box”, “It’s Tricky”, and “My Adidas.” When Run and D took a short break JMJ came out to the crowd to take requests. He laughed and semi mocked someone in the crowd saying “Play ‘Walk this Way’ dude.”
Once D and Run came back they broke into “Here We Go” and a rousing, crowd chanting version of “Ooo Watcha Gonna Do.”
Of course, my personal highlight of the evening was “It’s Like That” including the old school Krush Groove intro “Now DJ Run’s my name, Jam Master Jay is his…..” and so forth.
They did play “Walk This Way” which was a bit of a surprise considering Jay’s reaction earlier in the show.
They did an outstanding version of “Peter Piper” with both MC’s going through the usually lightening quick intro at a slower pace with Jay cutting up behind them.
Run and Jay did a beatbox version of “Crown Royal” and a couple other tracks off the new album.
Now that’s enough of a track listing. Let’s talk about the show itself.
Anyone who goes to a Run DMC show and is educated on the history of this music has to simply stand in awe of this group. Jam Master Jay plays the turntables like few other deejay’s ever have. He is completely at ease with them. There is little showboating or spinning around like many younger guys do today. He simply does his thing and thing gets the crowd moving with the microphone. DMC is a tall man that when you look at him you know he’s a force to reckon with. And really, is there anyone more sure of himself and his crew other than Joseph “DJ Run” Simmons.
Let’s talk about DMC’s voice. Sure, it isn’t what it was before. Sure, Jay helps out with some of his verses. But the bottom line is Darryl McDaniel IS DMC. He’s not some new jack who’s trying to make himself into something he isn’t. He is D THE MC. One third of the most influential hip hop group ever. For that fact alone he deserves and gets respect.
I love Run. How can you not? The guy has always been the more animated of the two MC’s. During this show he made crazy faces and motions with his body they whole show. He says every word like he is completely serious about taking out every other rapper in the world with every verse. He knows exactly where he fits in the annuls of hip hop and demands that everyone in the crowd give him his due.
It’s amazing how many times Jay’s records played “RUN DMC AND JAM MASTER JAY”. It was all night and every time he did. Run and D would get in their b-boy stance and the crowd would love it. Just the mention of the group’s name insights applause and excitement from the crowd.
It’s sad to think that there may not be many more Run DMC tours. They may continue on, but as most of you know DMC is looking to head in different musical directions than the Run and J. Who knows how many more tours the original trio has in them?
If you do get a chance to see them, take the opportunity now. Most truly old school groups aren’t available for us to see anymore. We have to rely of 30th generation bootlegs of live shows from 20 years ago. Here is your chance to see the old school live and breath.
Take the time to see them before all we have left of Run, D, and Jay are mix tapes.
Ed Roberts got to meet Afrika Bambaataa when he touched down in the UK back 2001. Here is his review of the night.
Afrika Bambaataa appeared at The Medicine Bar in Birmingham and boy did he know how to turn the party out. The small venue was packed to the rafters with a diverse group of urbanites, slackers, b-boys and punks, and the atmosphere was very friendly and full of anticipation.
DJ support from the residents Del’Agua and Chris Read was on point and taut. They warmed the crowd up nicely and the transition from regional talent to global legend-dom was smooth. Afrika Bambaataa sneaked through the buzzing crowd almost unnoticed. It was at this stage I stopped dancing and went to get my digicam from the car and I instructed my boys to get a spot near the front of the stage. On arriving back I thought I’d push my way back-stage. The promoters and staff were only too happy to oblige and indulge me . Within minutes I was up on stage and I found myself handing my copies of “Bambaataa’s Theme” and “Renegades of Funk” to the man himself to sign. I gave little or no thought to the fact that I was coming across as a total star struck geek, this was Bambaataa god dammit . After he had signed them, I thanked him, told him “Bambaataa’s Theme” was my favorite, he thanked me, we shook hands and then I shifted to the side of the stage and took some pictures.
The set itself was full of crowd-pleasers and if the word solid is a superlative let me use it…. Picking up where the residents left off, he dropped pop classics such as Jackson 5′s “I want U Back” and prince’s “Kiss” with the hip-hop weirdness of DJ Kool’s “The music ain’t loud e-nuff” and “Let me clear my Throat”. James Brown got an airing as well as memorable classics.. to criticize his set and say that the selection wasn’t too imaginative would be arbitrary and churlish because Afrika Bambaataa defines DJ culture. He will never fall off because he set the rules in the first place (He strikes me as an artist that has no time for elitists.) Anyways, everybody in the house lapped it up and there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to cater for everybody. you only had to look at the cosmopolitan party people to see that hip-hop culture has now hit saturation point. Hardcore B-Boys, Coolies, punks and curios alike had a damn good time. There was no time for moody suckers cold-fronting in the back here.
I for one, went home a happy man.
“Peace + Unity”? Good one, Bam.
Ed would like to thank staff at The Medicine Bar for a good night.