Can’t Stop! Or Maybe You Can: A review of the Theophilus London Show at Neumos on March 7th

So, before this show I was beyond interested on how Theophilus London would perform. He has a very jazzy and classy sound to him which you don’t hear often, but also produced his last album with Kanye West, so who was I to guess, what he would be like? Unfortunately I did have expectations. I expected him to be a good dancer, I don’t know why, I expected him to rap all of his features, and I expected him to not be a stereotypical rap artist on stage. Theophilus proved all of these expectations to be way too high.

Theo

Theophilus came on stage with a ton of smoke and no one could really see what he was doing until about halfway through his first song. This was kind of cool, but also I couldn’t tell if he was actually doing ANYTHING. It looks as if he was just doing backup vocals over his own track. There were a few songs throughout the set where I could see him actually rapping, but there were also a few songs where he would stop doing anything halfway through the song and look for the next track on his computer. This is not good stage presence, especially when musically the crowd can’t tell the difference from when Theophilus was performing from when he wasn’t. This all being said, the show was extremely entertaining and a few songs including Tribe and Can’t Stop were extremely energetic and I truly did get HYPHY. Speaking of Can’t Stop, however, brings up another problem I had with the show. Theophilus is a featured artist which mean’s that a lot of his songs are reliant on other artists being featured. Can’t Stop for example is about %60 Kanye West. This gives him two choices. One, to learn Kanye’s part and rap it. Kanye raps are genius but not overly complicated and completely within Theophilus’s skill set. Two, to play Kanye on track and not do anything during the song.  Unfortunately Theophilus did the latter of these options and it was disappointed.

Father

The highlight of the show was Can’t Stop because it was a ton of fun, but the other highlight was one of his openers Doja Cat. Doja Cat was the lesser known of the two openers. The better known was Father, but all I can say about him was that his pants were very tight, he gave a s/o to Bait(the clothing store next door), had a very uncomfortable vibe, but did what he does very well. Doja Cat on the other hand was great. She had swagger, grace, and power. I had never heard of her before the show but I love where she is going with her music. It is soft and ambient, but also has a unique twist to it. Some of her songs remind me a bit of SZA, but Doja has some extra swag to her. Her set was pretty short but it got everyone hyped and you could tell she PERFORMED all of her songs.

Doja

Before I leave you with this mediocre review, I want to give one last shout out to Theophilus’s bassist because that guy was awesome.


Marcus Shriver

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