Bounced on over to the Middle East Downstairs last night to check out what was going on, and to catch a glimpse of Coolio. Show was put together by the kind hands over at LT Live and Leedz Edutainment, and they had quite the line up for everyone to see. Performers were; Peoples Posse, Zayne Starx, Staxx, Kabir, Charlie The Most, Light Bright and last but not least... Coolio.
I'm just going to go right out there and say it, Peoples Posse was rather unpleasant. I'm not sure if they were trying to be funny, or if their group is a parody gone wrong, but the four white boys trying to rap on stage was literally that, four white boys tryin' to rap. Unnecessarily vulgar and disrespectful to the crowd I just rolled my eyes until their set ended. I'm pleased to say that next performer, Zayne Starx was a breath of fresh air. Solo performer who spit his lines and did his thing. Up next came the Staxx duo. The guys had a very lax vibe to their set and I enjoyed chillen' out to it. Kabir performed next, the drummer and keys/vocals pair had a killer feel and some classic hip hop beats.
Charlie The Most came on next and hot DAMN are they a group to look out for. Rockin' a lively four piece horn section, occasional and colorful violin, locked in drummer, energetic keys, two complementary and talented guitarists, funky bassist, and a lead vocalist who could sing till the cows came home, Charlie The Most was the highlight of my night. They started their set like wild fire and didn't have to find the pocket - they were already in it before they even stepped on stage. Bursting full of raw funk, soul and rock n roll, their sound was full and captivating. Their chemistry on stage was contagious, especially when the lovely Lindsay Lucas stepped on stage to sing. Lindsay's range is powerful and beautiful and an absolute perfect blend of spices with the band. I highly recommend checking these cats out online, they have a name your price album available for download on Bandcamp. (It's a good investment, I've had the album on repeat all morning).
Up next was a band I knew would spark some engines. Having seen them several times already, I was especially looking forward to Light Brights set. With a few improvements since the last time I'd seen them (adding tight and powerful drummer Federico Romeo to the lineup), Light Bright came on and showed what they got. With a delicate air of hip hop, heavy grooves, and a taste of weird that only comes from Frank Zappa influences, the boys stood out on their own and got everyone's heads moving. One of my favorite parts (and always has been) of Light Bright is the effects pedal used by one of their sax players. It's oh so tasty and dances on top of the groups already fresh sound. They also have a vibes player who compliments all the sounds just so. If you haven't already, go see Light Bright. Absolutely a huge band coming up on the scene in Boston, and the best part is, their all some of the chillest cats you'll meet in town as well.
Finally, the crowd was graced with the presence of rap legend, COOLIO. He came in owning the stage, dancin' up and down it like he was still in his prime. Unfortunately tho, his dreads are down to two bundles he keeps right on top of his head. Throwing in classics like Gangsters Paradise and 1-2-3-4, Coolio did his thing. I'm glad I got the chance to see him and it was an awesome cap to a fantastic evening of talent.
My recap will be short and sweet: CHARLIE THE MOST and LIGHT BRIGHT. Get familiar and go see both bands. Your ears will thank you.
Keep it funky ✌