Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Live review: Public Enemy

Posted By on Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Public Enemy

Amos' Southend

September 12, 2010

The Deal: Iconic hip-hop group convinces Charlotte not to believe the hype.

The Good: You always have to appreciate a group that feels the need to give an audience their monies worth and P.E. did just that with a set that went just a hair over 2 hours.

Chuck D was amazing. High energy and engaging, he was spitting classic bars like he just wrote 'em that day and made a point to get everyone on stage involved.

Flavor Flav was as entertaining as ever, admirably living up to his cartoonish persona with a presence that was all-in. He even outplayed their actual drummer when he jumped behind the set to play for one of Chuck's freestyles. His rant on VH1 never being able to see the ratings he had again along with a heartfelt closing where he continued to explain his situation long after the rest of the band had left was memorable.

DJ Lord didn't make people forget about Terminator X but damn, he was great and on it the entire show.

Their new material went over surprisingly well.

The Bad: It hurt my heart to see how off the S1W's were. Sure, they weren't the S1W's from back in the day that calm, cool and intimidating but still. Lots of peeking to see if they were doing the same thing the other guy was, oft times not, that was a letdown. Thankfully, they were in the background.

Outside of few crazed crowd members yelling at tour managers and entourage for free stuff and some dude with an afro like comedian, Craig Robinson, singing happy birthday awkwardly to some chick, things were pretty status quo. Their guitarist was actually good, his frequent solos and Hendrix impersonations were annoying after the third time.

Professor Griff played the background way too much.

The Verdict: Very cool. An opportunity to see history up-close, maybe not at it's height but while it's social relevancy is still intact decades later. Even as aging performers they didn't use that as an excuse for a scaled down show getting the most of out their catalog.

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