Gigs, dance, art

September 9th, 2009: De La Soul / The Herbaliser

@la villette

Coming here meant missing Dirty Projectors, my reasoning being that they would be back around sooner. Plus there’s been something about De La Soul that has been nagging me for many years. I kinda like their stuff, but there was something lacking, and I was hoping seeing them live would solve that as something that just didn’t translate to records.

So The Herbaliser was an afterthought to me, a wrong headed notion easily dispelled by their performance. I’m not sure it was Hip-Hop, but I sure I didn’t care. Apart for a DJ, they were a live band featuring a really good drummer, and that’s all I cared about. They did have a singer come around for a few songs, but most of the set was instrumental. I liked the instrumental parts better, and even though I was not impressed by the DJ’s scratching skills on their own, it worked well in that setting, and anytime a DJ’s stuff is appropriate to the surroundings, I say he did his job and then some. Maybe he could have burned it on his own but made it a priority to fit in, and if that’s the case more power to him. I know he tipped the scale for me, without him it would have been too funk based for me. The drummer, again, deserves most of the credit.

De La Soul didn’t do much to dispel my unease. Maybe that’s because of technical difficulties that delayed their set for a while. They did start with rapping over This is Radio Clash, and much later they did pay tribute to Erik B and Rakim’s Paid In Full, but what does it say about my personal appreciation for them if the highlights for me were when they were quoting others? As MCs they were quite good, but the live band, though they were good, didn’t bring anything new in my opinion. I guess the whole 3 feet high and rising 20 years celebration concept was fishy enough, so I shouldn’t write them out. Still, my favorite parts of their set involved other people’s stuff — RUN DMC, The Clash, Erik B and Rakim — and that should be clue enough. On the other hand, this was my biggest show in years in term of attendance so that has to factor in as well, maybe I should ignore more as mere pandering. Still, it didn’t solve my quandary. Prince Paul will be DJing in Paris soon, maybe I should try that — though it might be sold out before I get to it.


September 12, 2009 - Posted by | Music | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hey there,

    We filmed De La Soul at the festival Jazz à la Villette you’re talking about!
    Check the full concert video on

    Tell me what you think about it right?

    See ya!

    Anousonne //

    Comment by Grandcrew | October 1, 2009 | Reply

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