Live: Lyrics Born Date: Thursday, March 1 Opener: The Coup Better than: Getting slapped in the mouth with a fish Rating: 4 out of 5
Lyrics Born and the Coup threw down what could possibly be the liveliest and most fun show for this year's Noise Pop Festival. Both acts brought full bands to back them, each filling the Fillmore with soul-shaking beats that left no hip unshook. Lyrics Born's band brought forth the funk with so much gusto that the floor was literally bouncing. With an audience of what Common might refer to as "coffeeshop chicks and white dudes," no one could control even a foot from tapping, as everyone seemed to let go of the inhibitions that will likely stay bottled in for other Noise Pop shows. Ridiculous amounts of Buddha wafted through the air as slap bass, twangy guitar, and keys courtesy of Crown City Rockers' Kat Ouano kept the party going.
LB, alongside his supporting vocalist wife Joyo Velarde, hit all the right notes as they went through what seemed to be the entire Later That Day track list. The two exhibited their fine-tuned chemistry throughout the set, highlighted by one of his newest tracks, "I'm a Dude," a chauvinist-and-proud-of-it anthem. In what could be the most interesting call-and-response portion of any hip-hop song, Lyrics Born griped about how long women take to get ready and urged all the men to yell, "Hurry the hell up!" while Joyo had all the ladies counter with "It takes time to look so fly!"
Boots Riley and the Coup seem to have recuperated nicely since their recent bus accident, as evident at the beginning of the show. Riley, sporting his trademark blowout Afro and dressed in a superfly leisure suit, melted soul all over the early audience with funk and soul beats, culminating in a final performance of "Ghetto Manifesto" to the tune of OutKast's "So Fresh, So Clean." Unfortunately, the end of the Coup's performance was met with the majority of the audience just arriving through the doors.
The only true hip-hop show of Noise Pop turned out to be the best entertainment of the festival so far. True, Lyics Born and the Coup may not be as heralded and seminal as other bands playing this year (read: Sebadoh), but they're surely a lot more fun. -- Oscar Pascual
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Previous experience: Countless LB shows Personal bias: As Eazy-E put it: I like rock, but I prefer hip-hop. When white girls dance: They look more like they're doing calisthenics.