Public Enemy at First Avenue, 12/6/12

Categories: Last Night

But, incredibly, even with the all-time classics thrown in (and they have a lot of them), like "Can't Truss It, " "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" and "Bring the Noise," which is still absolutely flooring some twenty years later, Public Enemy's set began to feel like an intrusion, as well. There was a solo of sorts by DJ Lord that was actually pretty incredible and at one point Chuck D hauled local heroes Brother Ali and Slug onstage for a freestyle round that proved to be engaging and immensely fun to watch, but the set was quickly approaching the 90-minute mark and six hours overall for the entire show.

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Photos by Tony Nelson

The crowd was simply worn out. They finally closed with a so-so version of "By the Time I Get to Arizona" and a phenomenal version of their biggest hit, "Fight the Power" but following that Flav went off on another tangent, re-introducing Bazerk from Son of Bazerk and No Self Control as a friend from boyhood who came up with the idea for Flav to wear a clock around his neck as a dare. It was a fun bit of information to receive, to see the man who essentially made Flavor Flav who he is, but it was slamming what had eventually turned out to be a fair set into a brick wall, as the speech went on for several minutes. Flav may once have been a grade-A hype man for Public Enemy but he's now just a grade-A hype man for himself and as it turns out, at a Public Enemy show, nobody really cares much to hear about it.

Critic's Bias: I had waited years to see Public Enemy live. The amount of frustration I felt during this show was tangible to those around me; I was pretty disappointed overall.

The Crowd: The whitest hip hop crowd of all-time.

Random Tidbit: The smell of marijuana was constant and incredibly strong throughout the show. Puffs of smoke could be seen coming out of the crowd for the entire night. I literally had to hang my coat outside when I got home to air it out.

Notebook Dump: This show would flow a lot better if Flav would just stop talking in between all of the songs or at least make sense while he was doing so.



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21 comments
petescholtes
petescholtes

Late to say something, but I experienced a different show and a different set of demographics than Pat: Leaving the music aside (which I thought was amazing, Flav included), I was actually surprised by how diverse the crowd was for a PE show (I gather from their documentary that shows tend toward overwhelmingly white). And while the Rhymesayers themselves were there, the Rhymesayers crowd didn't seem to be. Upstairs, the audience skewed over-40 and maybe half African American. Just sayin'.

blackjon66
blackjon66

I saw a great show, Public Enemy & OG crew of hip-hop b/c listers was golden for actual hip-hop fans...  the crowd was diverse, duh.... felt like a high school reunion in a good way.  Weed smoke.....YES.

......wowzers!

mox44
mox44

And you want weed, should have been at Snoops show at the Cabooze a year ago,it was great and i'm still high.

mox44
mox44

I saw them in 1990 at First Ave and 1992 at The Quest and was hurting not going to this one. But I guess I didn't have to ruin my great memories from the early years. Amazing Chuck still puts up with Flav.

an2lope
an2lope

Awesome show. Too bad this whining bitch got weed smoke in his sweatshirt and had to stay till bar close to write his awful review. Thanks for the racial comments too city pages what amazing journalism. Pat you also didn't mention all the people that wouldn't sleep with you or your bad parking spot. I for one had a great time. Critics bias Pat can perform fallatio on me.

ru12xu
ru12xu

Hey Pat - So sorry your critic sensibilities were offended. Maybe you can call Chuck D and offer some advice on how to entertain a crowd.  I was at the show as well  and overall PE was great, even if it took 3 hours before they got on stage.

leiftheviking
leiftheviking

I also don't see the need for the "Random Tidbit" being about weed smoke. It's a concert. 95% of them will have that, some more than others. Just my 2 cents. 

brokenhalo
brokenhalo

@gimme_noise @PublicEnemyFTP @FirstAvenue That was not a criticism, I was mostly making light of it.

snyde0431
snyde0431

I was at this show too. While I'll agree that it ran a bit long and probably could have done without a couple of the openers, I thought it was worth it to see Public Enemy perform live and I wasn't disappointed. I'm also not dragging quite as bad this morning I would have expected for getting home at 2AM.

GregSchaal
GregSchaal

@gimme_noise Do your writers really NEED to criticize the racial make up hip hop shows in MN in 2012?

catiekennedy
catiekennedy

@jonmarcbauer That review makes me really glad that I chose to forego tickets to that!

solace
solace

@jonmarcbauer wasn’t the first stop

Zach McCormick
Zach McCormick

Woulda been cool to hear something about Chuck in that review...

MattHelgeson
MattHelgeson

@brokenhalo also i guess i feel like that whole thing of white ppl calling out how "white" shows are is kinda lame anyway IMO

gimme_noise
gimme_noise

@GregSchaal @brokenhalo I didn't read it as full-on criticism, but maybe Pat can comment.

jonmbauer
jonmbauer

@catiekennedy Yeah. I've had a run lately of seeing bands past their prime. I'm glad I didn't go either.

jonmbauer
jonmbauer

@solace Still, I remember seeing the video of them playing with Anthrax at Madison Square garden. I guess both are playing smaller venues.

jonmbauer
jonmbauer

@solace #ReviewsArticleIPulledThatFrom Crap. I misread that. It makes my point less punchy.

brokenhalo
brokenhalo

@MattHelgeson It was 3:30AM, I made a bad attempt at a joke. It was stupid but there's nothing I can do about it now. D'oh.

brokenhalo
brokenhalo

@MattHelgeson it's due by 9. I work at 8:30. My only choice on weeknights is being up late.

MattHelgeson
MattHelgeson

@brokenhalo fair enough, why do they make you post at such an ungodly hour? damn

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