by David Downs
East Bay label Quannum unleashes "the hottest man on the ones and twos," DJ Dhadow, upon the Fillmore for a career-spanning, gilded set, after buzz band Lifesavas took minds down the Gutterfly. (Full story, video and pics after jump)Turntable titan DJ Shadow, his sidekick Lateef the Truth Speaker and Quannum labelmates Lifesavas electrified a crowd of 800 at the Fillmore Thursday night in a sort of pre-Coachella blue balls extravaganza that made audiences just want to get in their car and see Shadow again at the three-day outdoors festival in the SoCal desert.
Shadow threw down a career-spanning uber remix set list, encoring with deep cuts like UNKLE's "Rabbit in Your Headlights" with vocal samples by Thom Yorke. "That's how you know this shit is live," the 33 year-old Marin county resident said. Soundboard recordings of the hour and half-long set could probably move 50,000 units, minimum, with the high points including an "Organ Donor" remix and the sight of SF's pale and pierced attempting to hyphy dance to "Three Freaks."
Shadow got chatty, justifying his recent move into hyphy. "Once you learn something, you can't unlearn it. Hip-hop has taught me to appreciate all the types of rap. If I'm catering to people and not challenging them, then I'm not doing my job. I appreciate you coming along for the ride."
But mostly he was all love for the Bay. His stoic faÃ§ade cracked and he covered a huge grin several times as the crowd cheered for more. There's a still-palpable sense that Shadow's a college kid from UC Davis, humbled at a room of people clamoring for his music hobby. His third show in 2007, Shadow said he realized he hadn't just gone out and done a solo tour since backing Massive Attack in late 2006, so now he's playing Portland, SF and going to Coachella.
Speaking of Portland, Pacific Northwest rap duo Lifesavas opened for Shadow at 8:30 p.m. to a mellow crowd in need of a good whipping. The thin, corn-row and mohawked Vursatyl and the big, blingy Jumbo as well as DJ Shines relished the opportunity to do so, blasting tracks off of their brand new Gutterfly album, out this March [Link to Gutterfly review]. Fresh instrumentals, bangers like "Resist," and crowd shouting battles got everyone oxygenated and lubricated. This band is indeed one to watch in 2007. However, their set only reminded you of the ensemble they assembled for the album itself.
Fishbone, George Clinton, dead prez, Vernon Reid of Living Colour and many others brought Gutterfly's "found blacksploitation soundtrack" concept to life, and that needs to happen live, pronto. The odds of such an event are long, because Quannum isn't loaded. Vursatyl said it may happen yet. Follow-up interview with him to be posted later.
Shadow "Midnight" video:
Shadow "Organ Donor" I:
Shadow "Organ Donor" II:
Lifesavas Video II
Clips from Photo Album:
|DJ Shadow and Lifesavas at Fillmore|