Lizzo at Triple Rock, 12/28/13

Photo by Erik Hess
Lizzo: Lizzobangers Release Party
with Lazerbeak and Plain Ole Bill
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
Saturday, December 28, 2013

Having taken her act on the road with Har Mar Superstar for a good chunk of the tail-end of 2013, Lizzo returned to Minneapolis for a solo performance to finally celebrate the release of her stellar debut Lizzobangers. The album's producer Lazerbeak was in tow with Get Cryphy alum Plain Ole Bill for their own solo sets, making for an evening full of gigantic beats and a proper capper to a breakout year in Lizzo's career.

Plain Ole Bill quietly took stage and proceeded to spin for upwards of an hour and a half, dividing his set into two distinct styles and eras that gradually prepared people for the ensuing insanity. Focusing his initial section on obscure funk and new wave and old school hip-hop, he switched gears with the remix to A$AP Ferg's "Shabba," which led to a string of Cryphy-approved tracks by 2 Chainz, French Montana, and Rihanna. Had either set dominated Bill's long slot, it would've worn thin, but the selection worked and made for a worthy transition into the rest of the night's reckless abandon.
Photo by Erik Hess
Beatmaker extraordinaire Lazerbeak had a huge hand in making Lizzobangers as massive as it was, and his rare solo set that followed was proof positive. Teaming up with Plain Ole Bill on the boards, in the Lava Bangers style that first caught Lizzo's ear when searching for beats, Beak showcased his MPC virtuosity by pounding out drum patterns over a wide range of his expertly layered instrumental material. Working his way through a variety of material -- including Prof's "Moron," remixes of Big Boi and Big Pun, and various deep cuts -- Beak's fingers gracefully pummeled out bass stomps and snare rolls with accuracy and exacting slap, proving with every tap how powerful a non-verbal producer performance can be.

Just for shits and giggles, Beak slipped into his "Towel Man" rapper persona briefly to bring to everyone's attention his love for marimbas, turning up, and towels, before quickly returning to his regularly scheduled program. Beyond the strength of the big beat-inspired songs themselves, the unbridled enthusiasm and explosion sound effects made the whole presentation one to remember.
Photo by Erik Hess
Smoothly transitioning from his own set into Lizzo's, Lazerbeak began to play the lesser-known original "W.E.R.K." by 2% Muck as the night's headliner burst onto stage to huge cheers. With Sophia Eris deftly handling backup vocals, Lazerbeak and Plain Ole Bill remained in the back to complete Lizzo's live ensemble. I've been criticized in the past about seemingly hyperbolic statements about Lizzo, and I'll be the first to admit that Minnesota music writers can exaggerate points about our local scene to make it seem like it stands up to bigger markets.

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