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Shad and K-Os in Vancouver (Live) [Photos/Review]

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Vancouver, B.C. – It’s no surprise that Shad and K-Os put on such a good show together – both from the East, they’re been spending a lot of time in the West, and they each encompass a unique style that delivers third-eye content with style and grace.

K-Os

Shad hit the stage just before 10:30, opening with a mark of respect to a recently passed friend and collaborator, Vancouver musician Randy Ponzio. Shad performed one of Randy’s songs and eloquently voiced his sadness at the tragic loss. A sea of lighters hung in the air for the fallen artist, and from that point on the set crept forward through a number of decidedly more mellow tracks. Shad’s casual vocal delivery settled nicely into the efforts of his live band, and eventually the energy picked up and Shad’s very humbled wit and clever lyrics were given the boost they deserved. His band really sold the catchy, synth-sprinkled simplicity of the songs, anthough “I Don’t Really Like To” didn’t translate as naturally with the live backing. Shads set ended with guest vocalist Narai’s beautiful repetition of “Love, Peace, Foundation, Family” once again in memory of Randy Ponzio.

Although the two acts balanced nicely in vibe, and together contrasted strongly with the opening heavy rock band The Dirty Mags, K-Os’ set was easily double the volume of Shad’s. He came out wearing a Canadian flag-colored poncho and right away set the tone for a rock-infused B-Boy frenzy. One highlight of his set was “Sunday Morning” where his reverb-drenched singing voice filled the Commodore Ballroom and had everybody buzzing. Another moment of heightened excitement followed K-Os’ crazed attempt at stage diving. In what seemed like an effort to gauge the liveliness of his audience, he threw himself off the stage only to sink to the bottom of an unsuspecting crowd. After being lifted back up he dove in again, this time was caught, and upon returning to the stage cursed the crowd out a little: “Wake the fuck up! Let’s do this!”

Following this commanding energy boost, the Canadian hip-hop veteran exploded into an oldie but a goodie with the B-Boy anthem “Superstarr, Pt. Zero”. An interesting subplot throughout the night was his affection and mild bitterness towards a bartender working at the venue that he went so far as to point out. He dedicated a downright weird rendition of “Heaven Only Knows” over the riff from “Stairway to Heaven” to the girl he says won’t return his calls.

The encore was interesting as Shad joined K-Os – who gracefully proclaimed Shad the better MC –  and freestyled to the sold-out Vancouver audience, kicking it off with each artist perched on opposite speaker stands. A good night of Canadian urban tunes and live instruments.

Written by Harold Richter for HipHopCanada
Photgraphy by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada

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