"Can we get some soul music up in here?!" Lee Fields shouted at the top of his lungs.
When you dare to combine genres of music, you dare to combine more than simply sound and style. An audacious blend of music can bring together diverse cultures, and in the realm of American society there are few backgrounds more disparate than that of small-town bluegrass and the deep urban flavor of hip-hop. On Thursday night, the 2720 Cherokee Performing Arts Center made easy work of the task, lead by the prototypical alchemist of the genres, Gangstagrass.
This past year, my concert schedule started with a frantic pace, but then unfortunately dwindled away a bit due to increasing limitations on time and finances.
The golden age of hip-hop came to 2720 en masse for a night of nostalgic joy and veteran performances. Even on a Sunday night, the crowd was out in good numbers and started to fill the dance floor as soon as the music began.
Far from the wild world of politics, the Polish Ambassador forms an alliance between the many styles and subgenres of electronica, leaving even the scholars of the scene debating whether that last track was psychedelic glitch step or down-tempo electro funk (and both were right). Decked out in his trademark yellow and blue jumpsuit, David Sugalski comes to every show to slice, cut and mix tracks that deliver danceable, feel-good grooves.
The real question at 2720 Cherokee last night did not concern the tornadoes that stalked St. Louis. A friend put it best: "What happens when shoegazers are placed in a dance environment? Will they dance?" The short answer: Yes. Especially when former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy is the headliner.
Don't mess with his microphone. Crank it up and keep it loud. Standing well over six feet, and sporting a "Sex, Drugs and Rap" shirt, the one and only Ghostface Killah brought his aggressive yet intricate delivery to St. Louis on Saturday night, proving why he's one of the most impressive rappers of Wu Tang descent.
The word is out that Lee Fields can still pack a punch. The retro-soul powerhouse returned to St. Louis and delivered a wallop to new and returning fans.