Common, Showbox SODO, 9/18
When I finally got into the sold-out Showbox a few songs into N.E.R.D., after waiting in line for a good 40 minutes, trying not to inhale asphalt fumes from the construction going on outside (and I really can't complain, because some people were in line waaaay longer than that), I was blown away. Because there's a lot going on with N.E.R.D.'s production, there's no way to entirely replicate the awesomeness of N.E.R.D. recorded, but it was a trip and a half to watch these guys-- and the crowd-- jump around. The only downside? For those of us standing in the back booze corral, the vocals were pretty well drowned out for several songs before someone figured out what was going on and corrected things. But it was pretty awesome when N.E.R.D. let some of the ladies up onstage to get down to "She Wants To Move" and "Everyone Nose (All The Girls Waiting In Line For The Bathroom." I heard one dude gushing afterward that N.E.R.D. played every song he wanted to hear.
Well, that's great for you, buddy. Because at the end of the day, I came to see Common, and I can't say the same about his set. To be fair, the guy's got an extensive body of work to choose from that spans more than fifteen years, plus he's got new material he wants to introduce. I can't blame him for that. But dude-- teasing us with the first bit of "I Used To Love H.E.R." and then STOPPING just about killed me.Plus, my friend Alexis, who accompanied me, thought there was too much sampling (of his own shit and other peoples', including "Get 'Em High," which was cool, but it was another tease, because he didn't do the whole song), and I have to agree. BUT. At the end of the day, I don't care. Because I finally managed to see Common live, and he seems like a nice person who would not, if a young fan walked up with an old CD of his, refuse to sign it. Take that, Goldfrapp! And to be fair, he did play a lot of his older shit, "Go" and "Be" (ok, not that old, but whatever), and at the end, he finally did "The Food," and "The Light." I almost cried. Plus, he invited one chick, named Sara(h), up on stage to hang out. And unlike at the Wyclef show, where he invited one really, really smokin' hot chick onstage to dance with him (there was also a group dance party, but that woman was hand-picked by Clef), Common's choice was just a normal, sorta big-boned lady who was totally in disbelief to be onstage with Common. Like I would have been. And all I could think about was, IT COULD HAVE BEEN ME. Why, oh why, did I not get to the Showbox at 7 to wait in line and inhale asphalt fumes for two hours? What was I thinking?!
Also, he brought up Zune, the sponsor of the tour, a lot. Zune must be really trying hard to convert the iPod generation into the Zune generation. I don't think it's working out too well for them, but uh, I guess we'll see if Common's endorsement sways the impressionable youth.