Last Thursday night, I had the pleasure of seeing the Budo album release show over at Barboza. You may know Barboza as the venue where the bar comes first (heh, get it? BARboza?). Seriously though, that place was built around a bar.
As much as I’d like to start off with Budo, I think it’s important that I get all of the artists in order. First up was DJ Thig Natural. You may know Thig Natural from his work with the Physics. If you know his Physics work, you also know his solo work. The beats were progressive, overlaid with heavy samples of rap. The samples were occasionally repetitive, but the beats are really what keep the music alive, in my humble opinion. Everything fused together well, and it proved to be a good set. The solidity of DJ Thig Natural’s DJing leaves me quite hopeful for the new Physics Album.
Next up was Ishka Dhaaf. If you’ve ever listened to Ishka Dhaaf on their bandcamp, get ready to hear about something totally different. The live experience is a story of good vocals, an underused guitar, and a poweful kick drum. As you stand in the crowd, the kick reaches out and smacks you right in the face, little by little. If that isn’t enough for you, there’s also a lot of floor tom in the set. The vocals were loud and very well coordinated. After spending some time as a sound engineer, it is a beautiful thing to see an artist raise their voice an appropriate amount with the volume in the music; it produces this effect where you can still hear the vocals during the loud parts of the songs, but it never overloads the system. The band brought forth a guitar, but it almost acted as more of a prop to the stage. It seems underused, but perhaps it was just used only at the appropriate times. The audience got notes here and there that ended up being memorable. For a two man band, Ishka Dhaaf was very well put together. In my opinion, the live Ishka Dhaaf experience far exceeds the expectations that one creates after listening to their recorded music.
Finally, we come to Budo’s set. During the set, Budo played through the entirety of his new album, The Finger and The Moon. Just as I put in the preview, this was a whole different experience than previous Budo encounters. His songs incorporate a mix of vocals, guitars, trumpet, and bass/drums mix. The first three are all done live, and the last one is done by some sort of magic and science. The end result is a lot of energy from the stage and a dancing audience. Budo spent the entire night running around the stage and clapping. According to him, “you can’t look like more of an idiot than I do [by dancing].” The album tells a story from start to finish, so all of the songs fit together and follow a logical progression. At the front of the crowd, you feel Budo’s passion and you get energized by his lyrics. From the back, the bass-heavy mix is a bit too much to hear lyrics, but since Budo was a producer at heart, those beats are great for dancing.
In the end, I have only nice things to say about the show. I don’t really think that I’m that much of a pushover – maybe Budo just played such a great set that I can only think great things about the show?
– Bill Koch / Not a Professional Penguin Wrestler / General Manager