Saw Ozomatli at The Fillmore last Friday.
First and foremost, if you have the chance to see them live, do so. All in all, it was a blast of a show helped by a very solid crowd. I got there a little early (about 10 minutes before the opener was set to come on), and got to appreciate the venue. It’s sad that it took me until now to get to The Fillmore, especially since I’m born and raised here. Anyway, the people there were fairly spread out, so I made my way towards the front, and was within arm’s distance of the stage. At first, I was standing near a group that was trying to block off an area, finding out later that they were Ozomatli fans (Ozo Heads) from all around the country, which really helped the electricity throughout the show.
Opening act was Cava, and she/they (female lead singer with a band behind her) did a good job. It must be especially hard when there is only one opening act before the main artist that essentially everyone is there to see, but they kept everyone entertained and did a good variety of stuff, including some ska-ish stuff which was fun.
After Cava’s set, Ozomatli came out, and the place just went off. One of the things that surprised me was how much of their earlier material they did. After a few songs, Chali 2na came out and actually just danced for the first two songs he was out there. It surprised the hell out of me that he was as good of a dancer as he was. Feel free to make stereotype-based jokes at my expense, I deserve it. As great as the rest of the band was, Chali sent it to a whole different level. Besides Black Thought, Talib Kweli, and Immortal Technique, Chali had the best feel and flow of anyone I’ve seen and he really engaged the crowd and energized the rest of the band. One of the most interesting things that they did was a sort of choreography with the front line of the band (trombone, trumpet, guitar, bass, Chali and Trae from The Pharcyde who does vocals for them) where they would all dance in synch. It was a sight to see, especially since the guitar and bass were corded in, which made things significantly more complicated. Also, Cut Chemist was there, and he did a great job, even playing percussion for a time. One of my geek out moments was when he did a call and response with the guitarist- it’s surreal to see something like that with a DJ and someone playing an instrument. They did a two hour + set, then did an awesome encore including Christmas in Hollis, which was fucking awesome. You could tell they were really having fun with that one, and they mentioned that they hadn’t performed it in years, probably partially because Chali doesn’t perform with them a ton. A really great time.
More after the jump
The other thing that made the night fun were the antics of the guy standing near me for the whole night. He was in his early thirties, and started chatting up these two girls that were sort of between us. He ended up buying them drinks, then they awkwardly started moving away from him towards the center of the dance floor. Eventually, these two other girls came over, and he started chatting them up and buying them drinks as well. Turns out they were SF State girls (pretty nice might I add), and while he wasn’t technically aggressively hitting on them, he sort of was. It was a bizarre sort of dance, especially with the one he took the most interest in even after she talked incessantly about her boyfriend. Nothing quite like a thirtysomething hitting on two bubbly Art History majors to put things in perspective. That said, the guy had a confidence about him that I could learn something from, even if I found him more than a little offputting overall.
-Why in the hell wasn’t Talib Kweli’s album nominated for Grammys? I know they’re a sham, but it still angers me.
-If UCLA doesn’t win a national championship this year, don’t be surprised to see Kevin Love come back. He needs more time to get in NBA shape and build an all-around game. He’s a sure first rounder right now, but he might not be a lottery pick to GMs, even if he is one to me.
-Good for Tim Tebow- would’ve loved to have seen Dennis Dixon as a finalist, but Tebow’s fantastic year helps break the glass ceiling that was up against underclassmen winning it (sorry Mr. Peterson and Mr. Fitzgerald, you deserved it too previously)
-If the news made a smaller deal about the mall shootings and whatnot, doesn’t it seem like there would be a smaller chance of copycat killers? Just saying…
-Justsouthpark (dot) com has every episode up. It’s so ridiculously sexy, I can’t even handle it. You betta believe there’s a “Top SP episodes blog” coming your way at some point
-My band’s name in Rock Band: Light Blight. Deal with it.
Well, that’s all for now. I’ll be blogging much more frequently once I get done with godforsaken law school finals.
Yours in Christ,