ICYMI: For all you Hoosier’s that believe Sunday Funday can’t be a reality in Bloomington because Big Red Liquors won’t sell you a 6 pack of beer, you’ve been sorely mistaken. If you don’t know what or where the Bishop is I suggest you acquaint yourself quickly (I have just recently acquainted myself), especially if you’re under the age of 21. This past Sunday, the Bishop hosted Shabazz Palaces and if you weren’t there I feel sorry for you.
For all of you don’t know who or what Shabazz Palaces is, it will be my pleasure to introduce and inform you. Rapper Ishmael Butler formerly Butterfly of the early 90’s jazz hip-hop group Digable Planets (If you haven’t heard of Digable Planets just google Rebirth of Slick to jog your memory) teamed up with Tendai Maraire in 2009 to form the experimental group that is Shabazz Palaces.
Despite the “traffic issues” that caused the music to be pushed back and hour, the opener Oreo Jones with co-rapper Sirius Blvck and their band warmed up the Bishop crowd with thumping bass drum and captivating beats engineered between two drum kits. After the dragging intermission Shabazz Palaces took the stage and did not disappoint.
In front of a crowd of about 100 or so, Butterfly and Tendai mesmerized the crowd with electronically fused bass and drum beats coupled with slick licks and lyricism. At times the crew seemed to be orbiting in a different cosmic realm entrancing the crowd into one unified vibe. The experimental beats flowed fluently from outro to intro the whole show with constant layers and textures putting listeners in constant state of astonishment. Leaving the music to do the talking, Butterfly’s occasional big smile in between looks of un-phased concentration showed how truly energized by the crowd he was. Reciprocating their appreciation for the crowd Shabazz Palaces closed with a passionate performance of “An echo from the hosts that profess infinitum.” Triumphant echoes of “who do you think you are” reverberated throughout the crowd to wrap up the evening. After, they simply exited the stage with Butterfly stating they used up as much time as possible for the music instead of leaving and coming back for an encore. A performance rhetoric I truly appreciate.
The astonishing hour and a half set rendered me in a muffled daze as I euphorically strolled the 4 blocks down Walnut to my apartment. For one of the first shows I’ve seen at the Bishop, the night left me with high hopes for the shows to come this semester in Bloomington.