March 27, 2012

CMW 2012

     I usually go to more CMW shows but there was only one that interested me this year. On Friday night I attended The Great Hall for Saul Williams, Spoek Mathambo, Cadence Weapon and The Battle Of Santiago. I actually only purchased the tickets because I'm a fan of Edmonton/Montreal rapper Cadence Weapon but there were also some pleasant surprises from the other artists.

     I arrived around 9:30 to catch the last couple of songs from The Battle Of Santiago. The band had at least 6 members on stage and the sound mixing in the venue was not the greatest. They played some kind of improvisational latin-post-afro-cuban-rock mix which could be cool, however, since I only saw about a song and a half and the mix was shitty I can't really place a fair rating on the performance. Rating: NA

     Cadence Weapon took to the stage around 10. It was just him and his DJ in front of the half empty venue. Rollie performed all new songs from his upcoming album (Hope In Dirt City coming out May 29th) with the exception of the song Sharks from the album Breaking Kayfabe. The new songs were good and the performance was high energy. I also have to say that the DJ was amazing (sorry I don't know his name. :-( ). Most DJs over the past couple of years seem to be playing pre-recorded tracks off their macbooks and occasionally playing with their mixing consoles. There was no laptop to be seen during this performance and his hands were flying! Because the set was a little short and I was hoping to hear a few more older songs I give Cadence Weapon a rating of: 7.5/10

I didn't bring my camera with me this year so this is Cadence Weapon from CMW 2010

     At 11:00 Spoek Mathambo came out to a full hall. Before the show I had only seen one or two of his videos on Youtube so I was largely unfamiliar with his music. Hailing all the way from Johannesburg South Africa the band had the entire place partying in no time. Spoek's music is a blend of African, electro, and rap. On stage the band looks like they are having a great time and that feeling translates through to the crowd. They played for over an hour until they were kicked off the stage by the sound guy, however, they managed to sneak back on for an encore. For being awesome I rate Spoek Mathambo: 8.5/10

     The headliner of the night was Saul Williams. Once again I wasn't too familiar with Saul's music. The set started with the backing 'DJ' cutting together seemingly random 30 second clips of music. After about 20 minutes of noise the crowd was becoming aggravated by the choppy set. Saul Williams came out with the rest of his band and proceeded to play several rhythmic/electronic songs with the occasional spoken word interlude. Williams seemed to command the audience's attention but it was late and I wasn't particularly impressed by the music so I left the show early. I know he has many fans but I guess I'm not one of them. I give Saul Williams: 4/10

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