Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Karmin @ Best Buy Union Square, May 9, 2011
When my friend introduced me to this duo not more than a month ago, it was because she saw them cover a very particular rap song (and well too) and thought that I would enjoy their rendition. The song of course was "Look At Me Now" by Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes, and Lil Wayne. Busta's verse is old school Bussa Buss, where he is rapping at the speed of light. Karmin's rendition is just as good, with none of the words dropped at all, some are changed of course to make it a bit more radio friendly. I couldn't believe someone was able to reproduce this song with such accuracy and manage to have fun with it like these two, so I decided that after watching this amazing Youtube video (which has eclipsed 11 million hits and counting) I would check out the rest of their songs, covers and originals. Everything is done great, and their covers are so originally done that really the only thing that's similar is the lyrics at the end of the day. These guys are mega talented, which is why when I heard they would be performing at Best Buy's Live series yesterday, I couldn't miss it...
Best Buy in Union Square has a musical series where they have artists come into the store and perform every so often. They've had quite a large amount of people perform in the past (Blitz the Ambassador, John Rich, Panic at The Disco, Wiz Khalifa and many others) but this was actually the only performance that I've made it to, and I was not disappointed. The multitalented Karmin consists of two people, Amy and Nick (now engaged, sorry everyone!), neither of which are actually named Karmin. Amy is the guitar player (acoustic) and lead vocalist (singer and very good rapper) while Nick is the multi-instrumentalist (Keys, trombone and a box he plays like a drum) and background vocals. The talent is there, and judging from their Youtube videos you know the performance ability is there as well, here's how it went:
They reached the stage and started things off with their rendition of "Bad Romance" by the one Lady Gaga. They did a very wide assortment of covers, showing off their pure talent with just those alone: a cover of "Price Tag" by Jessie J, of course "Look At Me Now," and their newest Youtube sensation, "6 Foot, 7 Foot" by Lil Wayne and Cory Gunz. They even took a Twitter request live, and one of their followers asked them to do their rendition of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," and they obliged. Honestly had they just done a few covers I feel like all the Karmin fans in attendance would have been right as rain as they say, but that wouldn't make any sense now would it? They did originals like "Inside Out," "Little Bit Crazy," and a new track by the name of "On Your Side," one that they claimed they wrote for The Ellen Show but hadn't really finished by the time the cameras were on them rehearsing it, so they figured they would bless the NY fans with the pretty much finished product.
Karmin's sound is rather refreshing. They are inherently pop music, but more singer/songwriter than the trash you will hear on the radio nowadays. They both play instruments and can both sing (in two party harmony of course) and lead sing Amy has such a fun stage presence that you can pretty much guess what it would be like to talk to her in real life just from watching her perform. I of course figured it out first hand, because they decided after their amazing performance to stay after the show to meet some fans and sign some CDs for people. They actually waited until the very last person on the line to meet them was gone before they actually made their exit; a kindness that is really lacking in today's music world. Karmin are on the road to stardom, from doing covers on Youtube to playing live on The Ellen Show, and I'm all for it. We need more actual talented musicians in this business to offset the 'artists' that are all fluff. Heed the words of Karmin: don't try and fake it, you'll never make it...Well said guys, well said.