Public Enemy at the Commodore in Vancouver (Live) [Review/Photos]
Vancouver, B.C. – Legendary rap pioneers Public Enemy graced the Commodore Ballroom with their Fear of a Black Planet 20th anniversary tour. The group took the audience through their revolutionary 1990 album in a two-hour performance interspersed with media mash-ups, political advice and no shortage of Flavorful antics.
The stage was set by Bomb Squad member Keith Shocklee, who replaced DJ Lord on the tour, but kept things moving throughout the show. He was joined by a full live band, who proceeded to recreate the classic Public Enemy tracks in broken down remixes – Terrordome never sounded so good as with an extended guitar solo woven through it.
In many ways the show reinforced what hip-hop has always been about – fighting the power and not believing the hype, presumably – and nobody makes those statements as pallatable as Public Enemy. It was exciting to see the ancient literary concept to “instruct and delight” brought into relevant context, and it was evident that the crowd was at least delighted, if not educated, by Chuck D’s rant again Americans in which he claimed to be “jealous as fuck of Canadians.”
The show lasted until after curfew, winding down with a rendition of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank you for Letting me be Myself Again,” after endless freestyles, drum solos (by Flav), and just about every song the audience was looking to hear. “Fight the Power and “Makes you Blind” were, among a few others, saved for a climactic musical explosion followed up by a rather anticlimactic speech by Flavor Flav.
All in all, Vancouver was certainly schooled and entertained by the classic hip-hoppers, and it sort of made up for Flavor of Love.
Written by Amalia Judith for HipHopCanada
Photography by Jamie Sands (http://www.jsandsphotography.com)
Photography by Jamie Sands