Kendo The Almost Famous, P.E. 2.0 and Public Enemy
As a child of the 80s, there were a number of artists I loved immensely and hadn’t had a chance to see back then because I was way too young – and one of them was Public Enemy; in fact, I can clearly remember rushing to the Nobody Beats the Wiz on 63rd Drive to buy a copy of Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strikes Black on cassette tape with the allowance I had saved. And man, did I play that tape to death and then some.
Now, as you may know I caught Chuck D perform a number Public Enemy songs at the Afropunk Festival but without at least Flava Flav there to be Flava Flav, it was momentarily strange, much like the Sam and Dave concert that my mom saw back in the day that featured just Dave. Uhmm what? But when I heard that Public Enemy would be at Brooklyn Bowl, I just had to catch them. Granted, it’s not the original lineup but the material still manages to be powerfully relevant and important now, perhaps even more so these days as Chuck D, Flava Flav, Terminator X and the rest of the group have influenced the likes of Immortal Technique, Brother Ali and countless others who are fearless social commentators.
Over the years, they’ve added things to make their sets more sonically and visually dynamic – namely the addition of a live band, which gives their material an added heft, and allows for Flava Flav to show off his musicianship. And they managed to play a number of their classic songs including “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” “Night of the Living Baseheads” and “Don’t Believe the Hype” off It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, “Shut ‘Em Down” “Can’t Truss It” and “Bring Tha Noize” off Apocalypse 91, “and ” Welcome to the Terrordome “ and "911 Is A Joke” off Fear Of A Black Planet.
Of course, there were songs i would have loved to have heard live – “Nighttrain” “By The Time I Get to Arizona” “Move!” that I didn’t hear but I imagine that if they added those songs, they’d have to add something like “Get The Fuck Outta Dodge” and then they’d have a four hour set, which I think I would have been fine with, especially since those 50 plus something guys still have it.
However, the openers were kind of meh. Personally i could have done without them although several people in the audience seemed to dig them. To each their own, I guess.
The Drew with one of the masterminds of the Bomb Squad Production crew, Hank Shockley.
Yes, you are Hip Hop.
For these photos and more check out the Flickr set here: