Monday, January 31, 2011
Chiddy Bang @ Irving Plaza - January 29, 2011
I was granted access to another show this past Saturday, Chiddy Bang live in concert at Irving Plaza (or The Fillmore, whichever you prefer)! There is a story behind these tickets as well, so I may as well tell it:
A couple nights before the show I was hanging out with a very good friend of mine (who ended up coming with me to the show) and we were discussing musical acts that we like. We were with newly made friends and he brought up Chiddy Bang as his new favorite act. To this statement, I responded that Chiddy was performing at Irving Plaza that weekend, and I could probably get us tickets. This statement was of course only half true, but I figured that I've been in such a winning mode that I could make a statement such as that. My friend of course responded by saying, "Yea man you should try to get those." I of course decided to make an attempt to, by entering a contest to try and win the tickets. Now I entered under the assumption that they had already given away the tickets, and I was right. The response I got the next day was that the tickets had been given away already. Ah well, no big deal. I was then emailed on the Friday before the show from the same people, who brought to my attention that my name was on the guestlist +1. This email was of course followed up by another one, stating that their original winner couldn't make it to the show, so they decided to give the tickets to me! Awesome sauce!
The strange thing about this particular show, was that the entire show was free, for everyone. However admittance was allowed only to those who happen to be in college, which I think is a really cool idea. I of course I'm twice removed from University life, so getting in for a person like myself would require being able to win the tickets outright. Luckily for me I did.
Getting in was a hassle, which of course could have been really avoidable. The ticket said "Doors at 7pm, show starts at 8pm." Now I absolutely hate being late for stuff, but I also know how these kinds of shows work, they're usually not on time. Knowing this, I decided that me and my friend would try to meet there at around 7:30pm, giving them time to get things together and start letting people in. That plan didn't really work, because we arrived and were greeted by a very long line. We actually stood outside trying to get in for over an hour, not reaching inside until minutes to 9pm, only to realize that there was already an act on stage! The venue kind of reminds me of a smaller version of Webster Hall, and the only reason I'm mentioning this is this was the first time I've ever been to Irving Plaza. The place is two levels, and the first level was packed. When I say packed this time, I mean there was no room to move, or anything, with all the people packed together like sardines. Access to the second level (balcony) was only for people 21 and over, and since it was a college show, the top level was actually not packed at all, so we retreated up there, which had great views of the stage from where we were standing.
The first act who we managed to catch the tail end of was Jake Snider and his band. Judging from the one song we heard, he sounds like a talented guy. Great sound too, somewhere in the funk/rock category. He's also very young, apparently he is the class of 2013 in whatever NYC college he is attending. Youngster indeed but, with a bright future. I don't want to write too much unless I get to see more from the kid, which I'm sure I will sometime later this year.
The next act up to perform are one of my favorite acts that I got to see last year, and my vote for breakout artists this year, Beyond This Point. These guys are awesome performers, and even though they were only granted time to perform two songs, they picked two songs that work well live: "T-shirt" and their biggest hit to date, "Future 2 Future." These guys are a wild and rowdy bunch, and their energy translates to the crowd that was there, who happened to be wild and rowdy college kids looking to party. Their songs of course have lots of instrumental solos, which of course gives the 3 singers time to run around the stage and head bang. These guys rock hard, and even finished their performance with one of the singers doing a stage dive. Maybe the best two song performance ever! I advise if you've never seen these guys perform, add them on Facebook and check them out sometime, they are terribly talented.
Before it was time to bring out the band of the hour, the promoters of this show thought it was a great idea to have a very random fashion show. That's right, there was a 15-20 min fashion show with guys and girls modeling clothes, but nothing really cool, just regular party dresses and heels for the ladies, and jeans and t-shirt ensembles for the men. You couldn't even hear who the designer was, and every time a male model came out he was greeted with boos! I felt kind of bad for them, but I must say, this was not the best time for a runway show. On to the main event!
Chiddy Bang consists of rapper Chiddy and his producer/drummer Xaphoon Jones, and they rock hard. They're that new-age hip-hop, cool fun loving lyrics over very nice sounding, rock fused beats. For someone as young and relatively new in the game though, Chiddy commands a stage presence that you really only see with seasoned veterans in the music business. Great breathing techniques make for lots of lyrics and only a very small amount of dropped words while rapping. This helps of course because a lot of his songs have kind of a faster beat, so you get pretty much the entire song, pretty much no problem. He dropped a few new tracks, a bunch off of his most recent mixtape, and even took time out of his performance to take requests from the crowd: Xaphoon stops playing the drums, and grabs the mic, then asks the audience to give Chiddy topics to freestyle about. It's pretty impressive the range of things suggested for Chiddy to talk about - surfing, Brooklyn, Fordham, even a platypus! He put together a very impressive string of bars, showing off his freestyle prowess and even figuring out a way to rhyme something with platypus! He closed the show with his biggest track to date, "Opposite of Adults," which was a very energetic performance. So much so that some of the crowd made it on stage to party with Chiddy, and by the time the song was over it seemed like there was over 50 people on the stage jumping up and down, you could barely even find Chiddy in the fray! He took it in stride though, showing that the partying vibe he puts out is not an act, and he can jam out with the best of them. Expect to hear a lot of Chiddy this year, with another mix-tape coming out and their first album on the horizon, things are looking good for the duo, this could be the year of the Bang!