The Wylde Bunch

Voodoo Fest

October 17, 2004

The Wylde Bunch brought the positive and the pop back to rap Sunday afternoon at Voodoo fest. It was great to hear fun, energetic, and silly rap music. The band made me of think of RUN DMC and their pop/rock sensibility. If you mixed together the attitudes of "Mary, Mary," "You Be Illin'," and "It's Tricky," you'd have the Wylde Bunch's approach pegged. The fourteen piece group(four MC's, three background singers and a brass trio included) from Los Angeles played playful rap/rock that had hooks galore. The band just released their debut album, but with such catchy songs, I can see them getting popular quick. That's if people still want rap that isn't antagonizing.

The band connected with the audience by offering up pieces of the Chili Peppers' "Give It Away" and Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City." They also used Billy Joel's "Big Shot" melody line for their own "Byg Shot," which was a re-vamped slow-grooving, arm-waving crowd pleaser that attacked darker rappers.

The four MC's were great performers. They ran around the stage, and they joked with each other and the crowd. They also played the classic live rap game: my side is better. Basically, one MC expressed his devotion for one side of the audience to get them riled up, and the other MC said he was down with the opposite side. Sort of like good cop, bad cop. The band really connected with the audience, and this made it easier for me to enjoy and relate to their songs.

The MC's were smart. They asked the audience how many of them had a job or boss they hated. Guess how many hands went up? The band seguewayed into their first single, "Last Day of School," a boisterous rockin' song that was a slap in the face to the hated, the band said.

The band proved that just because they were positive didn't mena they didn't know how to enjoy the finer things in life like women and fast cars. The band had fun flirting with the girls in the crowd, and they covered all the rock n' roll excesses on "Rock Star."

It was a show full of tight rhymes, music and performance. The music was bubblegum rap, but I thought that was the point. It tasted good.

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