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Review of a Sage Denver show. In lieu of Mos Def cancelling
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Sage Francis
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Review of a Sage Denver show. In lieu of Mos Def cancelling  Reply with quote

Mos Def vs. Sage Francis in Denver29-Aug-06

Mos Def is my man. Easily one of my top five MCs ever. So you can imagine how amped I was when I found out weeks ago that he was coming to Denver last Saturday, August 26. Last time I had the opportunity to see Mos, it was last year when he was on tour with Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch and Jean Grae. Unfortunately, Mos came down with the flu and had to cancel his portion of the show. Therefore, I was excited to see what we had all missed the year before.

I woke up early Saturday to get a bunch of work done so I could go to the Mos Def show with no stress. All day I labored, succeeding in getting everything caught up. Around 6 p.m., just an hour before the show was to start, I jumped in my car and drove down to Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium. However, I was heavily disappointed to drive by the Fillmore only to find that Mos Def had cancelled his show for the second straight time in Denver.

Angry and let down, I decided that I was headed home. On the way to my car, I came across an edition of the Westword, Denver’s local alternative newspaper that has the best concert listings in town. Although I had little hope in finding any good hip-hop acts in Denver at last second notice, I picked up a copy and decided to see what was going on.

Amazingly, I immediately turned to the live show section to find that Sage Francis had scheduled a last second show at Cervantes, another local venue. I’m a huge Sage fan, so I jumped in the car and headed over for some real underground hip-hop. I walked into Cervantes right at 8 p.m. to a couple tables selling merch and shirts and stuff. As I came up to the last table, I noticed none other than Sage Francis himself selling clothing and mingling with his fans. This amazed me, because I knew Mos probably wouldn’t have done the same at his show.

As the opening acts played, I noticed Sage kicking it all over the place. In the pit nodding his head to the underground acts. At the bar laughing with the employees and club goers. And outside conversing with all the kids smoking squares. I couldn’t help but be impressed by his personal stature and the manner in which he treated his fans.

The last opener before Sage was a group called Educated Figures, two talented mic controllers that ripped a handful of live tracks for the audience. I picked up a copy of their CD, entitled “EF”, and highly recommend checking them out for some good underground hip-hop. When Sage finally came on, he gave an excellent performance, combining lyrical hip-hop, spoken word poetry, political and social dialogue, and jokes upon jokes. “Mos Def was supposed to perform in Denver tonight,” he said, “but cancelled his show when he found out I was going to be in town.” The crowd roared in laughter and agreement.

It took me by suprise at first, because the crowd present at the Sage Francis show was a 180 degree turn from what you’d find at a Mos Def concert. Upon first glance, it looked like I was at a punk rock show. But the longer I watched the crowd interact with the various acts, the more I realized how hip-hop they really were. They had nothing but love for the beats, lyrics and themes. They were live and responsive. And above all, they had nothing but contempt for Mos Def and the show he had just cancelled.

Now don’t get me wrong … like I said earlier, Mos is my man. Nothing will ever change that. But I’ve had about enough of buying tickets to his shows only to be let down with no reimbursement whatsoever. Especially when cats like Sage Francis are representing true hip-hop and showing fan appreciation all over the country. So next time Mos or some other world-famous rapper cancels a show in your area, check out the underground. You never know, Sage Francis might be playing across town, and you might see a different type of hip-hop show. Peace.
Post Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:35 pm
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