Awkward Openers and Great Surprises

 A Review of the K. Flay and Air Dubai Show at Chop Suey on March 26th

Let’s not beat around the bush; this show started out weird. The openers Ricky and Mark had alright music and a really funny instrumentalist but totally threw us off when they basically begged for money. A note for performers: do not beg your audience for money. It is a total turn-off. The second opener Itch was probably the weirdest thing either of us have ever seen. We use the term “thing” because we weren’t entirely sure what we were watching. The front man of Itch was overly aggressive throughout the performance. His aggression mixed with the smooth voice of his vocalist and the creepy masks of his instrumentalists led to a really weird set that sounded as if it should have come out of a really bad Disney Channel movie. We did agree, though, that all members of the band were very talented. As an act, however, the artists clashed and it ended up being extremely cheesy.

The other opener/co-headliner was Air Dubai. This band is a band that is from Marcus’ home town so he’s seen them many times before. Seeing this band through all of their stages has been a really interesting experience though Marcus doesn’t consider himself a diehard fan, he enjoys catching them when they come through Seattle. Neither of us regret seeing them this time. After the awkward openers I was worried they might have killed the crowd’s vibe, but Air Dubai to the rescue! With a six person band, consisting of a live band, a rapper, and a very strong R & B singer, Air Dubai threw an energetic and musically tight show that got the crowd excited and wanting more. The songs they played were a good mixture of old and new songs in a really well planned out set. This band is only going to get better and they have a very broad potential fan base so watch out for them.

The other headliner was K. Flay. As an artist, K.Flay is a force in the rap industry wrapped in an unconventional package. Being a white female and a graduate of Stanford University one would never expect what she can offer. What she can offer, however, uses her education and her gender. She offers intelligent tracks with very unique trippy beats with a very strong drug influence. Her lyrics are intricate, smart, and very straightforward. Her performance was perfect for her music. With a live drummer, trippy graphics playing behind her and an anxious stage presence K. Flay is clearly playing what she wants to be playing and it is something that I believe is almost impossible to duplicate. The highlights of this show included when K. Flay played her song “The Cops”, her slowest song as well as when she did live beats. “The Cops” is a beautiful and sad song which she sang perfectly and seemed to put more passion into than in the rest of the songs. The whole crowd felt her love and emotions. K. Flay also mixed her own beats live for a few songs. Using a beat pad on stage she looped an amazing beat and rapped one of her best songs, “10th Ave” over it. This is something that should be admired because it is not easy to make a beat, much less make a beat live. K. Flay is a pioneer in her genre of hip hop and people who understand her music understand its depth, anxiety, depression, pain, strength, confusion, and purpose.

Marcus Shriver/ A Professional Chair painter/ KSUB Community Outreach and Social Media Director

Jasmine Schwartz/ Denim on Denim Advocate/ KSUB News Director

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