(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Concert review - Murs with Sick Jacken, VerBS, J.O.B.

6 May 2010 (Aggie Theatre, Ft. Collins CO)

Too many MCs? Too much is never enough. It was a full night of rap at the Aggie, with Murs bringing out a couple of special guests. West Coast style was firmly in the house. And this was after local rap band, Just Ova Broke, opened the show.

Just Ova Broke (J.O.B.)
Just Ova Broke is a Colorado trio, with a DJ, a live drummer, and an MC. This kind of lineup is not unique, but it's always nice to get some live beats on the side. Unfortunately, the sound mix worked against the band, with MC Vaughn Helm's voice buried under the DJ's music mix. He had plenty of energy working the stage, but it was almost impossible to dig out the rhymes. That's fatal for a rap act. Despite this, they had some loyal fans in the crowd.

VerBS hit the stage with partnered with the DJ who would back the rest of the acts. The first song mixed up a taste of Chicago's 25 or 6 to 4, using the horn punches to accent his rhymes. He had plenty of energy, bounding around and about. The mix was better, but still a touch muddy.

VerBS has good flow, with some nice off-rhythm hits to add some syncopation. The DJ was feeding him a lot of soul backing tracks, giving a little bit of a retro vibe to the set. There was also some nice interaction when Murs joined him on stage for a little bit.

Sick Jacken

If VerBS had strong stage presence, then Sick Jacken was positively manic. High on attitude, he started off chanting, "Cali is Colorado," stoking the crowds. His voice cut through the mix a little better, which was a pleasant development.

Sick Jacken changed things up a bit by throwing in some Spanish, flowing tight in either language. With his shaved head and his habit of stalking the stage, he brought some welcome intensity to the show. It was a short set, but, like VerBS, he had Murs join him for the closer (Paid Dues).

Hearing Murs sit in with the other guys gave us a sense of his style, but it was just a taste. Murs took the stage for his own, setting the crowd to bouncing with the beat. Early in the set, he tossed out a loose version of 3:16 Pt. 2, with his voice complementing the soul backing track.

He could keep things tight, too, as he showed with Fornever. Murs shifted mood from song to song, going from playful to fronting serious attitude. The beats and the flow kept us dancing all night.

Let's pair this show with a good West Coast beer, like Stone Brewing's Ruination IPA.

More photos at my Flickr.

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