De La Soul: Live Last Night
By Sarah Godfrey
De La Soul didn't have to formally recognize the 20th anniversary of its 1989 debut "3 Feet High and Rising." The group could've ignored the milestone, so as not to draw attention to its advanced age. But when a group looks, sounds and moves just as well as it did two decades ago and can still whip a crowd into a frenzy, why not celebrate that fact?
During the group's anniversary show at the 9:30 club on Tuesday night, member Pos said that De La is "one of few groups to stand the test of time," which wasn't a boast, but simply the truth. So, with help from the Rhythm Roots All-Stars band, Pos, Dave and Mase revisited the D.A.I.S.Y. Age, back when skits were the height of hip-hop creativity, Dave was still called Dove, and they all had a lot more hair.
(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)
Although Pos said at one point that "these [tracks] all start to blur together," the men did a fine job of selecting the best of the group's discography to perform and adding flourishes here and there: For "Pass the Plugs," from 1991's "De La Soul Is Dead," the usual tripped-out track was scrapped and the men rhymed over "Pass the Peas" from the J.B.'s, and "I Am I Be" from 1993's "Buhloone Mindstate" sounded incredible with a live horn section.
Still, the best moments were when De La rocked with just the simple three-man formation that made them famous, and performed classic material such as "Buddy" and "Potholes In My Lawn."
After playing for more than an hour, De La gave an encore that lasted almost as long as its career has: it included a Run D.M.C. tribute, the singing of "Happy Birthday" to Pos, who had turned 40, a few songs, and several minutes of Maseo jubilantly shrieking, "We're still here!"
By David Malitz |
August 12, 2009; 1:44 PM ET
Live Last Night
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