Nashville, we are so proud of you for not fucking this one up. Let us say that again: We are so fucking proud of you. You really pulled through on this one. Things seemed pretty tenuous for a second there, right after De La Soul moved from the Cannery to the much smaller Mercy Lounge and it seemed like once again the fare denizens of Music City would whiff and let another great tour mosey through town while everybody stayed home to watch Top Chef Masters.
But you did it, you came through and packed the house and--shock of motherfucking shocks--you danced and interacted and actually acted like, y'know, normal folks that actually enjoy music. It's tough to say what we enjoyed more, the top flight entertainment or the fact that you guys got excited for a band that wasn't your own. Either way, it was fucking killer.
The Spin was more than a little confused when we arrived at a quarter-past rock o'clock to find Ann Arbor, MI future-funk combo NOMO playing to a room full of people--were you guys lined up outside waiting for the doors to open? We might have been a little late, but that's still real early by Spin standards. Were you camping in the parking lot? Regardless, NOMO set it off something fierce and you, the wonderful people of Nashville, were all up in it, gittin' up and gittin' down to the wall of drums, sax solos and space noises.
It was nice to see you relax, uncross your arms and move a little, Nashville.
It was also nice to see the second performer of the night, who we had been informed was "some other rapper" by the club's staff but in fact turned out to be Big Pooh of North Cackalaka backpack legends Little Brother. How did this little nugget of knowledge escape our attention prior to the show? We dunno but whatevs, it was a real treat to hear some classic LB tunes all up close and personal.
De La Soul's set was as predictably great--seriously, we wish we had taken bets on the set list before hand, cause we would have made a killin'! Nothing but hits beginning to end: "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)", "A Rollerskate Jam Named 'Saturdays," "Plug Tunin"--all the classics. Sure, we would have loved to hear some deeper cuts like "Eye Patch" or "Jenifa Taught Me" but who are we to complain about "Oooh" back to back with "Ego Trippin (Part 2)" and "Potholes in My Lawn"? It was a win-win situation, with De La going the extra distance to win over the entire crowd, from the kids getting their freak on up front to the grown folks in the back. When they could have just mailed it in and still had you eating out of the palm of their hand, De La threw down hard, and you, the lovely people of this strange little burg, well, you threw down too. We're proud of you.
BONUS! Video shot by Scene arts editor Jack Silverman: