House of Blues
April 02, 2007
BY JASON SONGE
This woulda been a great concert if the music hadn't been so mediocre. The lights and sound were great, the crowd was into it and just the right size(full but not crowded), and the main performer, Mike Patton, was selling the music well. Maybe too well. Patton's a bright guy, and I'm sure he realized that the only way he was gonna win the crowd over was by overselling the music and being over the top. At the beginning of the show, I could tell that many of Patton's metal fans were confused by the hip hop-meets-Massive Attack-meets-hard rock amalgam on stage. And I'm sure they would have lost interest if they smelled fear from Patton. But, he treated the crowd like there was something wrong with THEM if they didn't get it. He hammed it up and made funny faces, wore a tight doo rag and a bulletproof vest, and strutted confidently like any other rapper you know. He got the crowd to wave their hands around and engaged them like it was a real hip hop show. The crowd liked it, but it seemed fake. There are some things that even Mike Patton can't do. And if we're talking about the whole experience, then I have to point out that Patton isn't black. No matter how well he rapped(and Patton was mediocre at best, despite his cool voice inflections), Patton still seemed silly up there acting black when he's white. It was weird to see Patton bowing down and incorporating the movements and clothing of another culture, especially when I'm used to him making up his own subgenres in the avant metal world. But, I understand that if he's trying to get the respect of the hip hop world he's gonna have to show them he can play their game just as well as them.
I think Patton is on the right track, melding what he's melding, but I wish he woulda spent a little bit more time on the Peeping Tom songs. A lot of them sound the same. The lyrics are lame at points, and the music sounds like he's really got too many side projects wearing on his time. I liked the album better than the show. The album is more pop, whereas the show went too far to the hip-hop side.
Patton had a great band with him. Dan The Automator was on the 1's and 2's, and Imani Coppola was on violin and vocals, along with U.S. Beatboxing Champion Butterscotch. A keyboardist hid in the back, while the Dub Trio played guitar, drums, and bass. The Dub Trio, by the way, were great, even better than Peeping Tom. They opened the show with their mix of metal, dub, and noise experimentalism.
The best part of the concert was Butterscotch. She got about five minutes to go solo, and, man, it was amazing. Besides Rahzel, I've never seen anyone beatbox. I have no idea how she sang and laid down the beat at the same time. For such a diminuitive girl, she made some bad bass bass come out her mouth. It rattled things harder than the usual bass that night. Google her or some shit. Check her out.
Back to the show. I was waiting for Patton to go off on New Orleans, and sure enough, he did. He said, "Fuck you and your hurricanes and your patry vibe" and a buncha other blah blah blah. I respect the guy's music, but why does he have to be such an asshole when he comes to town? Party vibe? He's the one rapping. What a douche.