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Review of my Sydney gig 10/18/10
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Review of my Sydney gig 10/18/10  Reply with quote  

Sunday, we respect the Sabbath and head to Oxford Art Factory to take part in a Sage Francis sermon: Preparing to be preached to on politics, women, woes and existential landscapes, all in the good word of this relatively obscure American political rapper.

The support act was supposed to be Sage Francis’ label mate, B Dolan, so we were surprised when we graced the church of music worship and The Herds' Ozi Batla was on stage. A commendable performance of Aussier-than-thou party tunes were played – however, given the atmosphere, perhaps someone from Sage’s Strange Famous label would have been more complementary to what we are all really here to see.

And he takes to the stage with gusto and brute force. Punching us in the face with his opening performance – The. Sage. Francis. Draped in a Strange Famous cape and donning a mop top wig, no less. The room stands to attention. Then the room loses their shit; along with their screaming WHOOS and all the applause they can muster. He takes this opportunity to inform us that he recently lost a dear friend to death.

A surreal experience, given that his vulnerable confession was drowned out by the consistent cheers and hand claps of the crowd...
Australia is the last port of call on what has been a major world tour promoting his new album, Li(f)e. As a result, Sage sometimes came across as tired and occasionally omitted words from his more famous verses. This didn’t seem to dull the enthusiasm of his heavy Australian fan base, though, with many of these absent lyrics being filled in faithfully by the crowd; whole verses of his dense wordplay were sung in sync with his own flow.

And so, despite overpriced drinks and frustrating security, the OAF was held together by the love that the congregation had for Sage’s rhymeschemes, which really have to be heard to be believed. His lyrics are at once incredibly listenable with a good sense of storytelling, while at the same time being filled with dense, subjective metaphors.
As he says in his signature, humble style, on Lie Detector Test from the album “A Healthy distrust”: “It doesn’t matter/I make enough sense to seem deep… If it hurts me/ more than it hurts you/ then I won’t hurt you/ I’ve got more sense than virtue.”

The disappointed romantic’s songs are filled with the venting of the worst of his times. After the epic closing song, he climbed down from the stage, sans toupee and cape to be mobbed with adulation. As we watched him being worshiped by the adoring crowd, grappling to touch their sage, you could not help but think the trials he has survived are what got him to this moment.

A comforting thought in times of drama.
Post Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:44 am
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