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Concert Wed May 23 2012

Review: Lee Scratch Perry @ Lincoln Hall 5/21

Monday's show at Lincoln Hall opened with Impala Sound Champions, a group of DJs that got things started on the smokey stage (my suspicions of the smokey substance dissipated as quickly as the smoke itself — it evaporated quickly and had no tell-tale scent.) The DJs varied in style and substance, ranging in appearance from a dead ringer for my uncle Lloyd circa 1958, to a man who seemed to be channeling Mars Blackmon , to a bearded guy in a flannel shirt and a hat imprinted with the words "The Boss." They took turns at the mic and at the turntable, playing a mix of Dancehall, '70s and '80s Rock Steady, and Roots Reggae. The beats were as entertaining as the visuals, combined with lyrics like "I'm Tennessee Tuxedo, never Chumley," and "I'll keep you mad open like I'm your OB Gyne."

Second on the roster were Illuminati Congo, whose heavy drumbeats and saxophone backed up the vocals of lead singer Jahn the Baptist. I had my doubts after watching the first 30 seconds or so of the video for Me And My Machete, but was pleasantly surprised — this is definitely a case of the live show far outshining the video presentation. It was at about the same moment that Illuminati Congo won me over that my olfactory receptors clued me in to the fact that the smoke in the room had just kicked up a notch. Jahn the Baptist chanted "Ain't nobody do it like we do, we gonna do it like Bruce Lee do," in raspy tones. Before they left the stage, Jahn wished someone in the crowd a happy birthday: "Happy Appearance Day Linsday," he said, "Happy Unbirthday to everyone else," and closed the set with a song which, appropriately, contained the lyrics: "life is for living, life is eternal."

SubAtomic Sound System took over next before introducing the man of the hour. A man bearing enough burning incense that I could smell it from the back of the room prepared the stage for Lee Scratch Perry, who walked onto the stage in a red suit jacket and a hat covered in CDs and other shiny objects. It's impressive to consider that the man is in his late '70s, and while I could barely make out anything he said, it was mesmerizing to watch him perform. He used recorded sounds of a screaming monkey and wrong number dial-tones in his music, and the bass was so strong I could feel it in my hair.

The room had became packed at that point, and after listening to a few songs my concert-going friend and I retreated to the anteroom, where we discovered that the sound is actually better than in the concert hall itself, and there's seating. Two screens hung above the bar in the anteroom showing LSP on the left, and the Lakers/Thunder game on the right. The bass from the show caused the camera to shake, blurring the screen on the left occasionally. On the right, James Harden's prodigious beard took center stage, and somehow it made perfect visual sense to have the two events screened simultaneously.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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