Going to see Too Short after a week of shock rock is a bit of a hard transition. Granted, Too Short is known for his rather explicitly dirty lyrics. But I’ve been wanting to see a Too Short show since I moved here, and the little taste I got when he came on stage with Snoop Dogg wasn’t enough.
I have also been wanting to check out 1015 Folsom, since it’s new management has proclaimed that it wants to start competing as a music venue alongside places like Mezzanine.
Upon a near full body cavity search to get in, we wandered in the sparsely populated club at about 10p. Once I found my way to where the live music was, I was impressed by the size of the room. It’s both wide and long, and most importantly, doesn’t have any beams or poles that get in the way of your view. The mezzanine wraps around the room, but you have to pay extra to be up there. Usually I like to be close, so I wouldn’t do that, but by the end of the night I started to wish that I had.
When I arrived, a hip hop duo from Oakland called Mavrik was on stage. I immediately took to their music- it’s much more along the lines of indie hip hop, with thoughtful lyrics and inventive beats. They have a female DJ and a female singing back up vocals which made the performance seem very organic. I’d see them again.
Next was Celsius 7, who was also not what I would expect to open for Too Short. I agree with his MySpace influences list, it sounds a bit like Outkast. I’d also see him again.
After this, the show went steadily downhill, with only a few shining moments. It’s like the room suddenly started to fill up with strippers and their patrons who had been handed free passes. And everyone was very, very drunk. It’s about 11:30, and another guy comes on to perform, and I didn’t catch his name. I couldn’t hear his vocals at all. He performs for another half hour.
Then there is a long long break, where the DJ kept us fairly entertained with some old school hip hop, along with some new stuff. Then he starts to go the route of mashing up a ton of stuff, and I grow bored. I see a security guard right next to me, and the back door to the venue opens and in walks Too Short with a curious looking orange box, some large entourage looking guys, and some raunchy strippers. They get escorted backstage and I realize that he’s just arrived. Immediately Maker’s Mark and OJ starts getting run back to the room. The people reconfiguring the DJ equipment look like the don’t know what they are doing. Then the DJ announces “whoever has the Too Short CD please bring it up”. Really? You’re going to let the crowd know that this is so disorganized? They’re all drunk, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
Even at hip hop shows, the influx of smoke from both the machines and the blunts means the show is about to start. Out comes Too Short, and about 20 other people. It starts with a song I can’t remember, which is probably because his mic wasn’t turned on for almost the whole time. And I’m also beginning to notice that the speaker above my head is blown. He gets a mic that works and jumps into ‘Blow the Whistle’, the newest hit. Now I feel mildly better. Then ‘Shake That Monkey’. Then, he commits my number one hip hop no-no, and lets some other guys perform. They’re a bit along the lines of Lil’ Jon, which is fun for one song, but then there’s several more and I’m getting tired of it. I can’t stand when hip hop artists use their set to pimp their friends. I understand the motivation, but, seriously, it’s almost 1am and I’d like to get this thing started.
I’m also starting to feel like a mega outsider, for many different reasons, but mostly because I’m not from Oakland. It was like an Oakland rally up in there. East, West, Southside…there was a lot of pride.
Then it starts with the ass shaking contest, and who can be the biggest ho, and I’m really not in the mood. I endure a few more songs, old ones where everyone knows every word to the point where I can’t even hear Too Short. I was waiting for some tracks off Gettin’ It, which was my companion album to Tupac’s Me Against the World in 1996. But, unfortunately, I probably left before that all went down…but at the rate it was going, it would have been 3am and I was still in pain from Manson.
Vids from other shows:
Too Short performance: 6/10
Celsius 7 performance: 8/10
Mavrik performance: 8/10
venue (1015 Folsom): 5/10
value ($25/ticket): 6/10