MC Lars

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Band Summary

Average User Rating 9.19
Total Reviews 1
Last Reviewed August 20th, 2006
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MC Lars
2010-01-24 11:18:52
K. Flay
2010-01-24 11:18:52

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MC Lars and K. Flay, making it ok to be white at a hip hop show
Venue/Date: Water St. Music Hall / Club at Water St. (Rochester, NY)
Concert Date:  
December 5th, 2009
Reviewer: Skwandering

      Venue Parking  
      Venue Security  
      Opening Band  
      Opening Song  
      Set List  
      Band Connection  
      Band Energy/Intensity/Showmanship  
      ConcertGoer Energy/Intensity  
      Sound Quality  
      The Finish/Encore  
The iGeneration is alive and well as evidenced at The Club at Water Street Saturday evening. They closed their laptops and pulled the ear buds out long enough to make a good showing at Water Street’s smaller venue. Advertised to fit 220 there was probably half that present by the time things got rolling. From skaters to punks to boyfriends making out near the upstairs bathroom, MC Lars intelligent, silly and socially conscious rhymes drew a diverse crowd together. A number of 30 and 40 somethings stayed at the bar, opposite the teens near the stage, ready to support Lars nerdcore roots. Lovedrug took the stage first. The Ohio indie rockers delivered a solid performance as Michael Shepard sang soulfully over a base of hard driving guitar. Their sound is reminiscent of the mellower parts of the 90s alternative rock scene, full of self loathing at times as they thrashed their way through the set. Moving between songs about the softer side that are prevalent on their albums Lovedrug kept it loud and shifting for the most part. They were at their best as the guitars and bass line moved, playing off one another before reestablishing their chords. A little slow and monotonous at times, they would’ve benefitted from turning up the vocals a notch or two but they kept the crowd into it as people continued to file into the early show. It was surprisingly refreshing to see a band hustling their own gear off the stage after the show. Lovedrug packed up quickly as a few Water Street workers lent a hand. I also learned that ears with those huge gauges look like deflated balloons without the earrings propping them up. While I ordered a drink and watched the crowd a brunette and a bespectacled, afro’d man rocking a red sweatshirt with Lars newest album logo appeared on stage. They rigged up a Mac, a mixer, dropped a rack of guitars, she whipped off her zip up hoodie and it was go time. K.Flay did exactly that, flayed the microphone as she smoothly rhymed her mind to the crowd at Water Street. Suburban America’s answer to England’s Lady Sovereign (even born the same year funnily enough) kept the assembled populace jumping throughout her set. Her ceaselessly driving flows flared intensely to make her point as she opined about topics from mental illness to the current state of world finances. She had me at Jim Plunkett as she ran her own show. Moving between the mic, computer and guitar K.Flay managed the transitions, smoothly creating. Heavy bass lines climbed my limbs from the floor as she moved through her beats, sampling liberally to mix with her constructed backdrop. Words can’t describe the pride at witnessing a fair Irish lass prove her place among hip hop’s burgeoning talent. She repped herself only towards the end, informing the masses you could get her EP at her website ( fo’ free! Check it out kids. Next up: post-punk laptop rap’s founder and leading citizen, MC Lars. The crowd packed in as the left coast wordsmith’s band finished setting up their gear alongside a screen and projector. A salute and moment of silence to honor our inevitable destruction at the hands of giant robots and they were off. Lars live performances have evolved from his days of laptop rock. Besides K.Flay manning the laptop and beats, he had a drummer on stage, along with some guitars and DJ, making the afro, glasses and red hoodie look pretty fly. MC Lars still rocked his A’s cap as he told us about all the cool people he’s met touring the world and how MC Chris is money grubbing, unfortunate that. The additional instrumentalists allowed for a fuller sound than you’ll ever hear on his albums. They slammed through most of his more well known songs, mixed with a smattering of tracks from his most recent album “This Gigantic Robot Kills.” While the band jammed along to Lars steadily spit rhymes footage and his music videos played across the screen at the back of the stage. During “35 Laurel Drive” pictures flashed up of his drummer John Thatcher Longley’s house, which very well could be the messiest house in New Jersey. Mr. Longley, rocking a hat with his initials, threw down his hands dejectedly as the rest of the band started in on the next song, eliciting laughs from the crowd and a pause in the action as the band playfully apologized to their drummer. MC Lars voluminous vocabulary was on full display as he moved between tracks, splicing vocals fluidly with DJ and K.Flay, who also flashed her guitar skills at times as the evening progressed. His silly, on point and often satirical takes on what’s happening right now was on display as Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” was sampled to create the framework for “No Logo.” Spinning lyrics about the continued ridiculousness of our society’s conspiracy theorists and rebels who don’t really seem to do much he gives his audience something to think about while they’re laughing and getting down to an illegitimately legitimate hip hop star. The center of the crowd is a bad place to be when the performer asks to see “a real mosh pit.” The skaters, rockers and a tiny girl with a pink tinged hairdo and glasses leapt into action as they broke into “Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock.” My beer went flying and security ended up admonishing some young men for their overzealous behavior. The pit expanded as most of us shrunk back against the wall, away from haphazardly flying appendages. The show ended soon thereafter. The audience was thanked and much cheering ensued. All the performers showed their true worth as everyone was available at the merch stand and on the floor right after the show. The crowd cleared out quickly, with a few stragglers staying behind to ask for pictures and talk to the musicians. I thanked K.Flay for her skills and hit the road. Water Street’s smaller club had proven to be an intimate setting with elbow room at the bar. So keep an eye out, you never know when a great show is going to sneak into town next door to the big bill. ((Apologies on the pictures from my terrible camera phone))

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