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10 Jan 05

k-os did not impress

here i am, possibly the least qualified (i.e. whitest) person to ever write a pseudo-review of a hip hop show, about to review k-os. so, here i go.

i sadly missed the k-os show at alfie’s a couple months ago because it sold out in approximately one minute, so i was excited to hear about the elixir show last friday. i thought the timing was a bit questionable – most queen’s students wouldn’t be back by then since classes didn’t start until today, and i wasn’t sure how many people to expect at the elixir when we arrived.

as it turns out, it was packed. the show was sold out and the elixir was crammed with stages’ed up mostly st. lawrence kids (from what i could tell) who seemed more interested in drinking, talking, facing the wrong way, groping, and running into me than they did about the music (especially pete elkas). we arrived at around 10:20 or so, and pete had unexpectedly already begun his set. i’d already seen pete about 5 times in the last year or so, but this time he brought with him a full band (“the doctor, the coach and the professor”) – something i hadn’t seen before. i always do enjoy his sets, but the fuller sound added a new dimension, and freshened things up a bit for me.

we were standing somewhat near the stage during pete elkas and intended to stay there throughout the show, but we eventually reached our tolerance for elbows in the back (not to mention temperature) so we retreated to the platform just behind the soundboard where we had a much better view and far fewer annoyances. k-os opened his set with b-boy stance, which got the show off to a good start, but unfortunately he couldn’t sustain it. from where we were standing, we had a good view of the set list and could tell that it was a pretty fancy one typed up in word (complete with boxes and shading and stuff), which tells me that he doesn’t vary much from night to night…and that explained a lot. the majority of the set felt phoned in – no spontaneity, no real excitement. don’t get me wrong, it was a technically proficient set and k-os and his band are good at what they do, but it was just…boring. i did quite enjoy his rendition of emcee murdah, and the inclusion of a version of hit the road jack (featuring the exact same tune as crabbuckit) was fun, but crabbuckit itself really didn’t do it for me (nor did most of the other songs, to be honest). the only moment of spontaneity of the entire set was when a really drunk girl climbed on the stage during crabbuckit and starting dancing, causing k-os to improvise some rhymes about a drunk girl he didn’t know dancing with him. i think that was my highlight. the lowlight was labelled as “patience” on the set list, and essentially consisted of 10-15 minutes of a percussive jam by the drummer and bongo player while k-os went and hid backstage somewhere…patience indeed. i probably would’ve been more forgiving of this, except that it was the third last song! jebus. oh, and we left before the encore.

as i was getting our coats from the coat check, i found the guy who pretty much typified the crowd as a whole. i was 3rd in line behind two girls and him, and he decided to put his arms up to, for some reason, ensure that no one could get by him. this led to rock crew chris yelling “excuse me” at him several times while trying to get to the side of the stage before he reluctantly got out of the way. when he got his coat, he for some reason spent quite a while sorting through his pockets, causing a large line to form behind me. when he started putting on his jacket in the middle of the insane crowd i asked him if he could put it on somewhere else (since i really didn’t feel like getting elbowed repeatedly while he drunkenly struggled into his sleeves) and he responded with “why don’t you get the fuck out of the way?” this made me laugh (since i could barely move in the crowd) and asked him where i was going to go. he stumbled a few times and then continued to put his jacket on, punching everyone in the vicinity in the process. ah, good times.

anyway, $22.50 is the most i’ve paid for one performer in a really long time, and sadly that show was less worth it than most i attend. from what i’ve heard, my experience isn’t typical – apparently his alfie’s show kicked ass – but really, if you were k-os, would YOU give your all for that audience? i didn’t think so.

14 Responses to “k-os did not impress”

  1. 1
    Jen Says:

    Wow, were we at the same show?? Yes, the crowd was a little young and stupid (watching the girls dancing around me was like seeing strippers in training). But once I started ignoring the chicks who were trying to dry hump each other’s legs and started paying attention to the show, it was amazing!

    I saw K-Os at the Opera House in Toronto a few months ago, and the set list hadn’t changed much. But seeing as it was my best concert of the year, I was pretty happy with that fact. The band has gotten noticeably tighter since, which made the guitar & drum solos even better. And “Man I Used To Be” and “Heaven Only Knows” were definite hightlights. He’s voice was starting to get a little shaky at the end (apparently he wasn’t feeling well), but it was still a great show. And the metal-tinged song that he ended the encore with was off the hook (but I guess you missed that).

  2. 2
    pager Says:

    right, as i said, the band was technically proficient. but a 10 minute drum solo? the guitar solo definitely displayed the guy’s talent, but..yaaaaaawn. and hey, maybe if he wasn’t feeling well, that may explain his overall lack of energy.

    as i said, i’ve heard great things about most of his shows…but this one wasn’t up to par. he’s still no parka 3 though.

  3. 3
    rock crew chris Says:

    I totally remember that guy at the coat check! Unbelievable – when someone wants to get past, let them past!
    Too bad you didn’t enjoy the show … whenever I had a spare couple of minutes to pay attention I really dug it …
    Peter was saying that the shows with K-OS were really up and down as for as crowd response to the opener … some cities nearly booed him, some dug him as much as K-OS.

  4. 4
    Amber Says:

    so what does any of this have to do with george
    stroumbolopolus and girlfriend?
    just wondering…

  5. 5
    pager Says:

    i didn’t know where to begin to answer this question until i realized that she apparently doesn’t quite grasp how google works. she is persistent though, ’cause i’m on page 5 of results.

    fyi, amber, i AM george stromboulopolus.

  6. 6
    anne... Says:

    don’t be a chump, amber. the only reason i made out with this guy is because he told ME he was george stromboulopolus. i really should’ve done my research…

    and i feel i must contribute my two cents that yes, k-os was a total disappointment. i will agree that it was in part due to the fact that the crowd was insanely annoying (typified by the 30 something white guy that ended up straddling my leg in the attempt to get closer to the stage who assured me he “wasn’t gonna get all up on me”), but also that k-os was clearly bored, and very likely high. in general i’m not a huge fan of people performing facing away from the audience, or holding out the microphone so the crowd can drunkenly chant the chorus for several songs, and sadly k-os was fond of both moves. in summary, i’d like my $22.50 and 3 hours of my life back.

  7. 7
    pager Says:

    ah, yeah, i can’t believe i forgot to mention the “hold the mic out to the audience” manoeuver. i’m not a fan of that at the best of times (chris murphy, i’m looking in your direction), but it’s ESPECIALLY annoying when the performer does it during the first verse. k-os, i’m looking in your direction.

  8. 8
    meghan Says:

    I was going to go see K-OS, and then I decided I was too tired. Sounds like a good call. I have to say, though, I might have talked through Pete Elkas, simply because I am SO SICK of seeing him open for people.

  9. 9
    pager Says:

    aw, but it was pete with a BAND. point taken though. i’m guessing that means you won’t be checking out his solo show in february 🙂

    i also just read on 20hz that k-os tickets were $30 at the door (before they sold out). yikes.

  10. 10
    k-os Says:

    this is k-os

    well done! expectation is a mothefucker! if you send me your adress i will give whoever said .. i will give them there 22.50 back — but let me tell you why-

    in the world of music there are those who think they know! they critique and diss thinking they know what its like to be a performer or to live this life- if i get sick the show must go on! if i have a fight with my girlfriend! the show must go on! if i think the town seems lame- the show must go on– then again i am human so i make mistakes- what i ask is for any of you who have these opinions — next time i am in kingston– tell me your names and next time i am in kingston you can come on stage with me- rock a song! turn your back to the crowd out of disgust and see if people know your tunes by asking them to sing a long or if they’re just came to the show because there is nothing to do in kingston- come nuh? come on stage– you can have your money back but i want you to enjoy that experience with me– what do yo say?

    crabbukit was inspired by hit the road jack- it sooo obvious but once again candians miss the point too busy trying to be cool- damn- it getting so boring to answer these posts- but soo much fun!looks like you had abad time despite the show– that sux– but hey — no time to get down cause im movin up!
    peace
    k

  11. 11
    k-os Says:

    k-os did notebly impress

  12. 12
    carlos Says:

    for the negative;
    its sounds like you would of have a bad time where ever you went the night.The crowd did fit your satire,but you did go for the crowd.
    for the positive;
    you actually got to see K-os

  13. 13
    pager Says:

    i’m not sure what “the crowd did fit your satire” means.

    and really, can anyone possibly top k-os’s criticism of my review? why bother even trying?

  14. 14
    kos got the vapours Says:

    hahahahhahahhahahaha k-os u’r sooooo gay

    you posted a reply on a fucking blog review of your show, and then challenged him to rock the crowd and see if he can do better (the reviewer didn’t even shit on you that hard)

    okayyyy stop fronting like u a bboy….stop using bboys in u’r videos to pretend that u’r down (ask the people you pay to dance in u’r videos what they think of you)….and stop carrying u’r own vinyls out to a club when you reach out to a concert (big black lincoln)

    perhaps most of all dont criticize faggot ass writers on u’r myspace page when they write reviews that aren’t all on u’r dick

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Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
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