April 4, 2005
Review by Jake Thomas
Despite how much I listen to it, I can’t think of the last time I went to a hip-hop concert. For the most part I’ve always found them a bit underwhelming, usually because of terrible sound, sometimes because of terrible performers, and almost always because of terrible crowds. But when Dizzie Rascal announced he was crossing the pond to play the States, I knew I had to get out of the house on this one.
And it was obviously the right move… because frankly, I wouldn’t have bothered to write this if the show were crappy. But it was better than alright, it was damn good – he had a cat there rapping with him, whose name escapes me, and a great DJ well versed in the sounds of grime (the term someone thought up to name the type of hip hop/club music hybrid that Dizzie performs). Perhaps most importantly, the sound system was dialed in – I don’t know if they did anything special to the Independent (I’ve never had any sound issues there), but the beats were crisped and the volume was just right, escaping the plague that ills so many hip hop shows where some dumbshit decides they need to turn the volume so loud you lose the high end when it gets washed away but a fuzzed out low end. He performed many of the tracks from his last two albums as well as at least one new track…his vocals were powerful just like on the record, and I could barely understand a word he said, just like the record. The crowd was one of the most lively I’ve ever seen in this town, lots of dancing and bouncing and arms waving in theair as if they may or may not care. This show was so good it might make me rethink my “never go to hip hop shows” stance. But then again, most hip hop isn’t as good as Dizzie, so they’re automatically working from a disadvantage.