Mac Lethal at the Firebird, 6/26/11
Mac Lethal | Kold Kace | Spark1duh? and DJ Who
Photo by Bob McMahon
Sunday, June 26
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Mac Lethal is able to improvise. After all, the Kansas City rapper won the emcee battle at the venerable Scribble Jam festival in 2002. This quick thinking came in handy when he was faced with a sparse attendance of around 40 people at the Firebird last night. After rapping a handful of songs with his hype man Patric, Mac Lethal turned a scattered crowd into an intimate one by inviting everyone to enjoy the concert from onstage. From there, Lethal did a few songs a capella including a stirring versions of venomous breakup anthems "Citrus" and "Heart of a Pig," the latter of which featured solid beat-boxing from Patric.
The mood wasn't all dour though, with Lethal cracking jokes in between songs and working in references to local hip-hop mega-fan Antwan, who introduced himself to Lethal during the show as "The 'Twan Father." Lethal and Patric also scored laughs with a parody/pseudo cover of Miley Cyrus' "Party In The USA" and with a chopped-n-screwed section of another song they performed a capella. Lethal closed with the contemplative "War Drum" and everyone left the stage happy.
Spark1duh? and DJ Who started the night off with an entertaining set that showcased Spark1duh?'s clever wordplay and penchant for similes Spark1duh? proved adept at improvising by telling tales of his drunken escapades and joking with the small audience while DJ Who's computer rebooted after a crash. The duo played a welcome long set that extended into a timeslot that would have been taken by Mathias of Earthworms fame had he not cancelled at the last minute due to illness.
Kold Kace from the F.T.I. Army collective followed with a hardcore set focused on their violent material. The duo boasted an energetic stage presence and we backed up by a dancer adorned with a gas mask who waved a flag with the F.T.I. logo around. It was sometimes hard to decipher Kold Kace's lyrics as the two recited almost all of each other's lyrics in a simultaneous shout, but the group certainly has an arresting stage show.