LIFESAVASsmall.jpg
Click the photo for a slideshow of the concert. Photos by Michael Alan Goldberg. 

Lifesavas
Date:
  May 9, 2007
Venue:   Chop Suey
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Last Night: Lifesavas at Chop Suey

Gutterfly madness.

LIFESAVASsmall.jpg
Click the photo for a slideshow of the concert. Photos by Michael Alan Goldberg. 

Lifesavas
Date:
  May 9, 2007
Venue:  Chop Suey
Would Meatface approve?: He fancies himself a blaxploitation hero.
And the hipsters?:  Ehh, Lifesavas probably aren't cynical enough.

"How many of ya'll have never heard the Lifesavas before?" MC Jumbo asked the audience at the crowded but not uncomfortably over-packed Chop Suey on Wednesday night.  Only one or two hands shot up, including one guy right up front, who Jumbo pointed to, clasped hands with, and said, "Well, let's welcome him to the family" as the Portland, Oregon hip-hop trio launched into "Hellohihey," a track from their 2003 Quannum debut, Spirit in Stone

Rockin' the braided fro-hawk and some alien-looking shades, Jumbo traded dexterous verses on the positivity tip with fellow rapper Vursatyl, rhyming over DJ Rev. Shines' funky, old-school-inspired grooves that got the joint jumping. 

Drawing equally from Spirit and their new Gutterfly — which is essentially the "soundtrack" to a mythical '70s blaxploitation flick — Lifesavas spent the first two-thirds of their hour-long set creating a mostly light-hearted party vibe. But as the sweat began to flow more freely, the beats got harder and the two MCs grew more serious. They dedicated songs to the homeless, lambasted a culture of violence and death, and decried the war in Iraq (Vurs repeatedly called Dubya an idiot and demanded a halt to the killing). Calling for fists in the air as they spat an extra fierce "Resist," Lifesavas seemed to morph into dead prez. Closing out with Gutterfly's gritty, intense "Superburn," the trio proved it's as adept at dealing with darkness as light.

Reporter's Notebook

Openers:  Strange Fruit Project, from Texas, who dropped some spiritually minded, Native Tongues style jams with formidable flow from its three MCs; and local threesome Cancer Rising, which kicks verses and represents the 206 in much the same way as Blue Scholars and Gabriel Teodros (who was front and center in the crowd, bobbing his head all night long).

First time I saw the band:  During the Quannum World Tour stop at the Showbox back in 2004, when Lifesavas teamed up with DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, Lateef the Truthspeaker, and others on the Quannum roster for probably the best show I've seen in my five years in Seattle.

Best time I saw the band:  Last night, because Lifesavas had the stage all to themselves for an hour, and tore it up just fine on their own. 

 
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