Sunday, January 12, 2014


Just when you thought the VVers couldn't possibly write anything else about their favorite wordsmith Kurtis Blow ... BOOM!  He books a show with DC go-go legends EU at the newly refurbished, historic Howard Theater!  How could we not go?

EU plays a killer set to open for Kurtis Blow.
VVer #2 is notoriously leery of seeing musicians after their hey-day (or in this case, three decades after) and with the added tidbit about KB having turned minister (founder of the Hip Hop Church!), things could get ugly.  But, seeing as this was THE Kurtis Blow, and he was playing right in our backyard, there were no excuses to not show up.  Plus, there was a strong possibility that he would play tracks from the one and only PARTY TIME?  Not initiated?  It's the only KB album in his oeuvre that is great Side A and B and it's also the only one of his albums to feature as backing band... wait for it ... EU!

Feeling semi-nervous we sidled into the beautifully restored Howard on a Tuesday night for the show.  It wasn't exactly packed, but there was a moderate crowd.  What ensued was pretty tight!  His flow was strong and he kept up his energy the entire time even as he giddily danced and moved all over the stage.  He even brought along his troupe of NYC 80's style break dancers to light up the floor.  At one point he went on a little preaching moment about the Jesus, but thankfully it was brief and not too over the top.  The set was pretty short and in a serious missed opportunity, none of "Party Time" was played.  In fact, EU didn't even play through KB's set, they just skedaddled on out of there after a brief overlap where they introduced him.  Does the Jesus not approve of Party Time?!

We should remind folks that it is in typical KB fashion to end on a bad note.  On his albums he usually ends up singing some sort of awful, schmaltzy tune on Side B.  In this case he finished the show off by rapping through a crazy hip-hop covers montage (think Naughty by Nature, 50 Cent, and Jay-Z among others).  This was extremely odd and corny.  Even still, he was able to pull it off thanks to his impressive delivery and earnest goofy vibe.  Was it good?  Well, let's just say that it helps to have low expectations sometimes  He decided to finish the show off with his so-called "smash-hit" that the VVers despise, "Basketball."  Of all songs to use for your finale!  And why all the covers?  KB -- have you looked at your backlog of totally awesome (and not-awesome) songs lately?   There are at least twenty songs that would have been better than that montage or "Basketball."  Ick.

KB, even with all the ups and downs, we were hyped to have seen you do your thing as one of the originators of hip-hop.  Vinyl Vagabonds = fans for life.  Next time call Vinyl Vagabonds before the show; we would gladly help you improve your set list.

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