My photographer friend and I arrived to the Showbox Market with absolutely no expectations for the evening. All I knew was that I was going to see a hip hop duo called Latyrx (comprised of Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker) and a New Orleans funk and jazz jam band named Galactic. My photographer friend told me that she had seen Galactic 10 years ago and that they made for a good time. So, I guess we had that going for us. Oh, and the whole free concert thing. After checking in and making sure that I was in fact on the list (in the past i've had 'list' issues so now i get totally freaked out about the entire thing. i know, first world problems), we made our way into the belly of the Showbox where the energy throughout the venue was completely off the charts. As we walked to the front-right side of the stage to get some pics of the duo, my photographer friend informed me that the show was sold-out. It was then I realized that the two of us were in the middle of something awesome.
Latyrx owned the stage, never standing in one place for too long, continually roaming and rhyming while the duos' DJ and drummer provided the instrumentation. After every few songs, throughout the show, Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker would engage the crowd. One of the coolest ways they engaged was to start off by saying, "We don't give a f@#k!" Crowd cheers. "We don't give a f@#k if you're gay! ""We don't give a f@#k about your politics! "We don't give a f@#k about your color!" They then continued on to the next song. Crowd completely pleased. I looked over to my photographer friend who isn't familiar with much hip-hop, but from the smile on her face, I had no doubt at all that she was absolutely into the message and the music.
After Latyrx's set my photographer friend and I headed to the upper bar to take a bit of a reprieve from the action. I thought the floor was packed for Latyrx but upon scanning the mainstage area of the Showbox I saw a massive sea of people waiting for the headliner of the evening, Galactic. I was surprised by a couple of things once Galactic hit the stage: 1) That I was actually enjoying a jam band and 2) for a lot of the set (or at least up until the point my photographer friend and I had to leave) Corey Glover from rock band Living Color sang with the group. (wtf?) And, he freaking killed it.
Latyrx are putting the finishing touches on their very long-awaited second LP, The Second Album. Guests on the album include DJ Shadow, Kool A.D. of Das Racist, Blackalicious, Merrill Garbus of Tune Yards, Chris Funk of The Decemberists and Spank Rock, among others.
Check some photos from the night, here.