Monday, July 5, 2010

MC Chris, MC Lars, Math The Band Live

Ok, so it's been a couple of weeks, but this is one of the first chances I've had (and felt like) to write about my experience seeing MC Chris live, for the 9th time I believe, this time with the nerdcore great MC Lars, and the indie-experimental-synth band Math The Band.

First, the venue: Once again we were at The Social, here in Orlando. I've been to the social a bunch of times - mostly to see MC Chris - so I knew what I was getting into. We got there a hour before the doors opened, because the venue is small and we wanted the front row on the higher level (like 3 feet higher then the floor). That gives us a great view, and we get a railing to lean against and put our beers on. As I said, we've been there a bunch, so we are experts on the ways of The Social. As a little side remark, we almost got into a fight with a guy in a wheelchair. Actually the guy (I call his 'wheels') was cool, it was his friends and one random really drunk guy that were being pricks about the whole thing. Long story, just thought I'd add that taste for flavor.

Math The Band was the opener, and I had never even heard of these guys before the show. The band is two people, one mangy looking 20-something guy who plays guitar, and one quasi-cute/maybe lesbian girl who played the keyboard/synth and a floor tom and a single cymbal. It was interesting to say the least. As they set up I turned to my friend and said "I already hate this band. They had better 'wow' me on the first song/" And you know what? They did. They opened with a frantic cover of Andrew W.K.'s song "It's Time To Party," and although I couldn't really hear the vocals over the sound they were putting out, I knew the words and could sing along. I was impressed. The rest of their show went a bit downhill as far as the music is concerned, but what saved them was their stage presence. I didn't know a single song (besides the opener), and really couldn't understand a word of the shouting vocals, and could barely make out the guitar (at one point his speaker died and no one noticed - including the guitarist - until the song was over), but I still enjoyed their show. They were jumping around and running on and off the stage, the girl kept doing odd gymnastics (sorta), all while playing. It was nothing like the rest of the show, but it pumped the crowd up to be sure. While I would never pay to see Math The Band, or even go out of my way to see them for free, I would not dread to see them if they were opening for another show. Not great, not really good even, but interesting to say the least.

Next up was MC Lars with special guest YTCracker. Now I knew that MC Lars pretty much invented nerdcore hip-hop - at the very least the term itself - so I was sure it would be along the same lines as MC Chris, and it was mostly. His music isn't as quick or rely so much on gimmicks as Chris' is, but it was still pretty good. He did the usual stuff, singing about science and video games, and whatnot. What he did a bit different, and what I liked, is that he rapped about famous literary works like the story 'Moby Dick' and Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Raven' - which, as far as I can tell, he sang the entire poem word-for-word (with a chorus added) as the original. All pretty entertaining and a bit unusual. YTCracker sang on most of the songs, as rappers do, and even sang a few of his own songs with MC Lars singing backup. They seemed to flow very well and appeared to be good friends. I did get a bit bored towards the end, as I often do at shows where I don't know any of they lyrics, but they didn't get too boring before moving on.

Then comes the headliner, the man we came to see, MC Chris. He began the show with a gag/skit with him fighting Storm Troopers on the stage with his light-saber, it was all pretty funny. I like MC Chris because at every show (that I've seen) he reaches out to his fans who are local to the show he is putting on (via his forum) and hangs out with them all day. This time they went to Universal Islands of Adventure to see the new Harry Potter land, and I think he joined another group for a movie. And the Storm Troopers were locals too, we saw them coming to the show with their costumes all packed up.
As for the show, MC Chris played mostly stuff from his newer two albums, MC Chris Is Dead and MC Chris Goes To Hell, neither of which I have heard vary much, so most of the show was lost to me. He played come classics of course, and some remix versions of them as well, but it was almost all new stuff/songs I didn't know very well if at all. While this did take away from my concert experience (because you go to shows to hear the songs you know an love), it was nice to hear something new, not the same show I've been seeing over and over, and it did motivate me to listen to his new works. I just listened to MC Chris Goes To Hell for the first time this morning, and I really like the songs from it I heard live, he definitely chose the best from the album to sing at The Social.
One thing I really didn't like at the show was this contest he held. Apparently on this tour he is choosing the best (crowd-voted) shirt from each venue, to post on his website and be voted as the 'best of the tour'. The winner wins some free stuff, he was a bit vague on this point. It all seems like a good idea in theory, but this part took over 30 minutes to decide the 'best'. Everyone and their mother thought they should win and get on stage. The voting was a joke, with people screaming for every single shirt, with no real regard for order or real voting. It took way to long, is my major gripe, not the idea itself, and it was kinda funny for bits. He joust should of smashed through it faster and it would have all been gravy.

I love seeing MC Chris live, and in the 5 years that I knew he existed I have seen him in 2 cities and 9 times. His shows are always fun, especially with the group I go with every time. I would see him again and again and again. I hope he tours into old age so I can see him with my kids one day, and be that old creepy guy at every show.

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