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all photos: Sexy Fitsum

This show was lame. Seriously, it wasn’t good.

I could talk about how the opener was this kid named Happy Chichester who looked about 15 and played like 12 instruments and did some amateur beatboxing and used these foot-pedals to record himself in a series of loops which was almost interesting enough to distract from substanceless songs that all sort of sounded like Lifehouse. Or I could tell you about how he apparently he used to live around the block from RJD2 in Columbus, OH, and now is opening for him as a solo act and also played in RJ’s new “band” for most of his set too. I could also mention that he had the same simple-minded fucking smirk on his face the whole night which apparently set the tweens in the audience atwitter because they kept screaming “Happeeeeee! Happpeeee!” like, gross.

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I could write about how RJD2 came on at about 9:45 and spun like 3 songs, continuously switching samples, scratching, and shifting deftly between his 3 decks and this one weird drum-machine thingy that made like big booming noises just by pressing buttons (what are you, strange magic machine? I know not DJ equipment). He teased ‘Final Frontier,’ then abandoned everything and for most of the rest of the night he and Bammy Cackalacky plus two other white guys made like wedding singers. They traded instruments on every other song (which I guess is supposed to show their versatility?) with RJ going from guitar to keyboard back to decks and around again. I read somewhere he was trying to move away from his mix-master roots with Def Jux and go more in a “pop” direction with his new album, ‘The Third Hand,’ but I wasn’t ready for this. At one point, after a few bass-heavy, harmonized ear-bleeders, he goes, “how do you like my kick-ass band?!” and I had to retreat quickly to avoid chunking on my feet.

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It reminded me of one more variation on the white-guy-cum-hip-hopper theme – the ‘Kid Rock’ where you start out DJ-ing and progressively pile on the trappings of other musical types, dabbling in electronica, metal, country, but never really mastering any one and so ultimately you come off as an egoistic dilettante who can’t focus on doing something right. I have this tape I found once in some couch cushions that had Lacabincalifornia on one side and that one Wyclef album on the other where every other song has some bizarre guest like Kenny Loggins or the Rock. And in each song Wyclef tries out a different personality where on one song he’s gangsta and then he’s doing an acoustic cover of ‘wish you were here’ and the next he’s all funky with Earth, Wind, and Fire, yelling “Don’t sleep on my guitar skills! Turn my guitar up!” and tries to solo but can only squeak out like the same 4 notes in slow-motion. That was this show.

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So I could tell you he played his hits ‘Ghostwriter’ and ‘the Horror’ and some others with lots of samples of horns and a video projected behind him with lots of action sequences from the Matrix and the Transporter and Evil Dead.
But then they just played more shitty pop songs.
And I like pop!
It’s not that, it just… sucked.

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But instead, I should’ve just posted this text transcript from the night:

Me: fuck this ish
Fitsum: come on
Me: this is some dave matthews bullshit
Fitsum: yr hrt z cold yo
Me: can’t take anymore. give my regards to weezer.
(i leave before the encore)
Fitsum: dude that was 1 of the best shows ever. u r seriously buggin sam.
Me: here’s my review=bammas. like. shiiit.
Fitsum: evz.