About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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A Night of Singer / Songwriter Hip-Hop
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Prompted by a text message from my friend Substantial saying he’d be in the NYC at the Knitting Factory to perform, this past Thursday I headed into the city see how things were going with my buddy from Maryland whom I hadn’t seen perform (or at all, for that matter) since his move back to his hometown in early January. The show, which was titled Sideshow – A Night of Singer / Songwriter Hip-Hop, also featured Miz Metro, Tonedeff and Louis Logic and JJ Brown with J-Zone spinning throughout the entire night. There were two things very different about this night, however, first I brought two friends from out of town for their first NYC experiences, and second, the evening was about the music of Hip-Hop as artists performed with bands and even played the piano.

Miz Metro opened Sideshow and after about two minutes I knew she was something special. Using authentic gypsy rhythms that she produced Hip-Hop beats over, Miz Metro sang her way right onto my radar. She also hooked my friends up with her official MetroCard earrings, which are pretty dope. Once her time on stage was up Substantial was on next. This was the first time I had seen Stan with a live band and his performance was excellent. Live bands, as long as they’re talented and are working with a talented artist, are usually a great idea. I say usually because there are some limitations that come with a live band as some of an artist’s harder songs are a little more difficult to replicate (as dope at the Unplugged version of LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” was it still paled in comparison to the original), but Substantial kept things light and jazzy, which suited the evening well.

One of Substantial’s partners in rhyme, Tonedeff hit the stage after him, mixing rapping with singing and even some piano playing. Tonedeff’s performance was an exercise in proving that a lot of music fans are far more intelligent than they are ever given credit for by record labels. He went from the hilarious “Pervert” to the touching “Porcelain” to a few songs he penned for the piano and everyone in the crowd dug each song. So not only are musicians alive and well, but if given the opportunity to strut their stuff they’re appreciated, too.

The headliner for the evening was Louis Logic and JJ Brown. Louis Logic came out in a Kenny Rogers 1987 tour t-shirt that was, in a word, awesome, just like his performance. J-Zone had joked earlier in the show that while Louis was on tour kids would come up to him in airports thinking he was Lenny Kravitz. Admittedly, Louis’ hair has become quite impressive. After performing some traditional Hip-Hop for a good twenty minutes, including the songs “Morning After Pill” and “Classy McNasty,” Louis sat down at his piano, an instrument he’s spent the past year and a half learning, and performed some of his songs in a completely new way. Highlights of his piano performance included a very touching song about bigotry and the idiocy of the so-called reasoning behind it and the busting out Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend." The crowd wouldn’t stop doing the chorus for "Just A Friend" and it got to the point where he even said “hey, I can’t stop ya."

This was the first Sideshow event, but they were already completely on point not only with their performances, but with their marketing skills, handing out a ten track CD (pictured above) that featured songs from the four artists who performed. I know the friends I brought, who hadn’t heard of any of the artists before, became fans and with the CD were able to go home with some of the music that was performed, a perfect way to keep the memory of the evening alive and well.

Speaking of my friends, I gave them quite the night of NYC experiences including their first Metro North ride, first (and subsequently second) subway ride, first underground Hip-Hop show and their first taxi ride. The taxi ride was especially fun as they thought the driver was a little more crazy than he actually was. There is really very little that can measure up to giving someone their first NYC experience. It’s the greatest city in the world and everyone needs to be there at some point in time.

All in all it was a fantastic night as I was able to see Stan again, show some friends around the city, and network with all the artists who performed. Thanks to Sideshow in the near future you can expect to see me working with Miz Metro, Tonedeff and Louis Logic in addition to continuing to work with Substantial. The Rolodex just keeps on expanding.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:46 AM  
  • At 2:24 AM, Blogger Laura said…

    if you need any more metro card earrings just lemmi know : )
    looking fwd to aug 3rd!!!

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