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review of Sage Francis show in Santa Clara 7/14/06
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Sage Francis
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review of Sage Francis show in Santa Clara 7/14/06  Reply with quote

Sage Francis
@ The Avalon Nightclub, Santa Clara, 7/14/06.

As the indie-rap boom of the mid-to-late ‘90s fizzed into a parody of itself, a few artists that emerged remain. Among this small circle is Rhode Island’s Sage Francis, who made a stop at Santa Clara’s Avalon Nightclub.

Amongst the purple neon lights and unnecessary dress code, sat Sage Francis, eating hummus with crackers and selling merchandise. Although the venue itself seemed to contradict the headliner’s down-to-earth style, he wasn’t off put, taking pictures and joking with fans while openers Language Arts Crew and Mr. Choe began the evening.

While the opening acts should be commended for their energy, their sets ran a bit long, with the audience seeming bored by its end. But as night hit a lull, a surprise announcement sliced through the billowing muck of the fog machines: “Who here has heard of Organized Konfusion?”

While the young audience seemed indifferent, many folks reacted, as unsung Rap legend Prince Po¾short for Prince Poetry¾ appeared on stage.

What a surprise indeed. Performing songs from both his solo career (“The Slickness”) and Organized Konfusion’s revered catalogue (“Stress”), Prince Po recaptured the momentum and gained new fans while longtime listeners stood in awe. Wrapping up his mini-set, which would have been worth the price of admission alone, Po introduced the night’s main event.

Equipped only with a CD player apply titled “DJ No Spin Zone”, Sage didn’t drop a single syllable, delivering fan favorites like “Makeshift Patriot” in colorful fashion. Filled with humorous dance battles and crowd interaction, Sage delivered a set with bells and whistles one doesn’t typically see from a lone rapper and his Discman.

Ending the night off with a brand new spoken word piece that obviously captivated the silenced crowd, Sage was able to make the spacious venue seem intimate. Thanking the audience and shaking hands, Sage packed up his hummus and CD player, and hit the road for another performance in Reno, Nevada.

Sage Francis, amongst the pumping fists and nodding heads, was ultimately able transcend the evening’s sluggish start and shitty venue, which basically, is the mark of any great headliner. Good show.

Words by David Ma
Post Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:33 am
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