I must preface this piece of writing by saying that i am not a Mos Def fan.
My boyfriend (mos) definitely is, and has the shoes to prove it.
I like listening to his music. But i am just not all that interested in hiphop or rap.
That being said i thought Mos Def was simply delightful.
The day after Australia day was always going to result in some very tired bodies, my boyfriend and i included. However we dragged ourselves to Metros to find no-one there at 9:00 – an hour after doors opened. We found a good seated vantage point, chatted with the security guys (J showed off his shoes) and found out that Mos was scheduled to come on stage at 10:30.
An hour and a half not trying to fall asleep was well worth it. There was a DJ playing but (not surprisingly) he was playing a mix of hip hop and rap tracks, of which i knew none but fortunately J was there to fill me in on all the different artists and collaborations and producers.
Mos hit the stage at just after 10:30. And he didn’t disappoint.
He owned the stage, looking just like Ford Prefect should.
His presence was that of a 1960’s soul singer, which in many ways is what he is, and certainly the soul singers must be an influence. His voice is magical. There are not enough adjectives to describe how smooth and soulful it sounds.
His set list was mostly from his ‘The Ecstatic’ album, which made sense because it was ‘The Ecstatic’ tour. But J was mildly disappointed that there wasn’t more new stuff.
Even though i only knew two of the songs (Auditorium & The Message – well he had his own rap that he wrote when he was 10 to the backing of The Message) he still kept me entertained.
His drum solos were a highlight. Having trained as a percussionist in high school i may have appreciated them more than most of the crowd but they were still a highlight.
The non-rap interludes where we got to hear Mos’s singing voice were also fantastic. His energy, enthusiasm, and obvious love for what he does for a living were obvious.
But the real highlight for me was looking at my boyfriend and seeing his look of absolute joy.
There was a bit of unfounded excitement during Auditorium as, from our vantage point, we could see a figure who looked like he was going to come on stage. J though Slick Rick may have been a special guest, but he wasn’t. He managed to convince the guy next to us that it could be Slick Rick too.
Mos’s banter between songs was a little hard to understand but he kept everyone entertained.
All in all what really stood out was Mos’s professionalism.
Like my previous hip hop gig, Public Enemy, i found little to fault even if it’s not a style of music i usually listen to.
Everyone left knowing that they had seen a consummate performer and a great show.