Hot Dogs&Hardcore~Part 2 and Falafel wRAP

Three shows in two days at the Triple Rock...

Thursday, Show #1: Detonate, Wartorn, Trash Talk, Victims (from Sweden)
Sticking with the theme-hot dog days, I had a couple pre-show dinks at the Wienery. The 'Manhattan' and the 'Maxwell Street.'

I walk in during local band Detonate. Female fronted and crusty. Looks like there are some members (or at least one member) of Living Hell and Garmanbozia. Pretty deec. Crowd is very small and for the most part, lame. Wartorn is up next. I've seen these guys a few times now and I don't know what it is, I just can't get into them live. I do like the way they sound on record but it's something about the live show that almost irritates me. Similar to how I feel about Behind Enemy Lines. Looks like the drummer is being kind of an asshole to one of the guitarists. That sucks. It's really bumming me out actually. Anyway the next band up is Trash Talk. There has been a little buzz going around about these guys and it's got my interest piqued. They are definitely different than the other bands on this lineup. More along the lines of straight up hardcore. Looks like they have some peeps that came specifically to see them. A couple of attempts at gorilla dancing and kung fu fall flat. Wrong crowd for that. The singer is performing as if he's in front of a large crowd. Unfortunately he's not. Still pulls off a few successful mic-drops though, thanks to the above mentioned fans. I actually think these guys are really good. Perhaps just mismatched with the other bands on this show. By the time Victims come on, the room has filled up a bit and the people seem more apt to participate in the experience.

This is my second time seeing Victims and I'm pumped. Their spilt from a few year back with From Ashes Rise is still one of my favorites. I decide I'll go without earplugs for every other song. The guitar player is kind of funny looking. He's got some pretty tight jeans on. Which isn't all that uncommon for punks, but these ones flare out at the bottom and it looks totally goofy. He and the drummer both remove their shirts before they start which makes me giggle. Not because dudes are taking their shirts off, but because it seems more like a rock star move than a hardcore-thrash-crust-punk-whatever move. Come to think of it, I think this is the same dude that had a cast on his leg and had to sit on a stool the last time I saw them. Anyway, besides all that, they are destroying us, as expected. People finally started slamming and there are even a couple of stage dives. There are two girls that are a little too drunk for an all-ages show standing next to me. Or I should say, swaying and bumping into each other next to me. What is it with drunk girls always hanging on each other and hugging and shit? Not that I'd normally complain about that type of behaviour but again, seems a little out of place here. Back to the point at hand (Hey, I'm lost too.); Victims fuckin' killed my face off and I loved every minute of it.

Thursday, Show #2: SixSixCrush
About 10 minutes after I get home from Victims, Jason calls and says I'm on the guest list for tonight. After about a half hour more on the couch, I hop on the bike and head back to T-Rock. A couple other bands play but none worth mentioning. The boys kill it. Being the loyal reader that you are, you probably already knew that Seth is a dad.

Friday, Show #3: Busdriver, Dizee Rascal, El-P
Arriving early enough to still grab some grub, I decide upon the Mediterranean Deli. I do believe this is my first visit to this place. Seems weird considering how much time I've spent on the West Bank for shows or work or whathaveyou. I get the 'Falafel Sandwich.' It's not all that good but the people watching and eavesdropping more than makes up for it. Some hippie dude has wandered down from the Nomad and is strumming on his guitar and singing. Two crackish white chicks are dancing and yelling "Yeeeahheeeaahhh" over and over again, at him.

Once back at the T-Rock, I grab the first of several Tecate tall boys and post up along side the stage; a spot I stay in for nearly the entire show. (Except for when I'm getting more beer.) Busdriver is on first. Dude is straight up weird. Not the same dude I remember from several years ago in the 7th st. Entry. Really entertaining though. Lots of distorted vocals and pedals and shit. He keeps referring to us as "Mini"; as in Minneapolis, I assume. "We got Los Angeles in the house, we got New York in the house, and we got London in the house" he says, referring to all the acts on tonight's show. "It's like we're having a global hip-hop orgy on Mini tonight" he continues "We love having sex on you Minneapolis." On us? Funny.

Once Busdriver is finished I grab more beers and return to my post. From my vantage point I can see across the stage to the backstage area where Dizzee Rascal and his auxiliary emcee are warming up-dancing to the beats his DJ is spinning form the stage. The crowd pops big when he comes out. I'm super excited to finally see Diz Rasc, and especially in such a small place; taking in to account I was considering driving to Chicago a few years ago to see him. Say what you will about Grime-the beats are too fast or whatever (which they really aren't) but these Brits got the essence of hip-hop down.

It's funny watching the crowd during Dizzee's performance. There is one guy in particular in the front row that is over the top ecstatic. He's trying desperately hard to let everybody-especially Diz-know that he knows all the lyrics to every song. Also, there are a couple of straight up hoochies dancing across the stage from me. They too, are also trying to get Dizzee's attention-grinding on each other and really doing it up extra saucy every time he looks at them. I predict that they get yanked back stage...aaaaand I would be right. Immediately following the encore, 'Fix Up', a member of Diz's entourage comes out and invites the hoochies to the back. They follow the man right past the backstage lounge and straight out to the tour bus. That's the last they were seen for the rest of the night. Dizzee def turned it out tonight. Not just on the stage but probably on the bus too.

This is El-P's banner for his stage set. It's an image used on his albums and even tattooed on his arm. He tells the story behind it on his blog.

Mr. Dibbs-one of my favorite DJs-got the everybody warmed up and then El came out like he was on a mission. I thought the crowd popped when Dizzee hit. Shit, El-P blew the place up. I was pretty disappointed when the TC wasn't scheduled for El-P's tour last year. I believe he toured with a live band on that one though. Which I don't hate, but I am more than happy to see him do hip-hop the way it's supposed to be done-two turntables and a microphone.

Between songs El talked about how he was "rocking with a full load" because the Triple Rock shitters don't have doors on them. Hilarious. He also took a quick poll to see who the heads was voting for. Of course he, like me, thinks the election will be rigged anyway, so it don't matter.

Performance wise, El was pretty much on point the whole show. The set consisted almost enirely of material from his two albums 'Fantastac Damage' and 'I'll Sleep When You Are Dead.' (Which, in my opinion, are two of the best albums of 2002 and 2007, respectivly.) However, he did do an old Company Flow song, 'Vital Earth' that those of us in the know, sang along to. Most songs would start out with the same beats as they have on record, but then for the second and third verses, Mr. Dibbs would put on an old school beat. I recognized beats from Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Public Enemy, De La Soul and so many others. He also killed us with a turntable session; chopping metal, punk and hip-hop together as he is wont to do. All in all it was a really fantastic performance. El-P and Mister Dibbs know how to bring it.

Some kid posted snippets of the show here.

After 3 shows in 2 days in this place, I'm as exhausted too. I biked home drunk and happy.

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