I need some inconsistency

An amalgamation of content: the aim not to politicise, but exercise. I'll think aloud about politics, technology, current news, as well as being a gay boy and what that really entails.

Thursday, December 04, 2003


I was underwhelmed by the whole experience of going to see Justin which is a real shame as he's such an amazing performer. As the knot magazine link tells, the show was much more about effects and stunts than about the music. He played a dreadful version of 'Gone' which segued into 'Girlfriend' which in turn was amazing though far too short. His voice is strong yet in reality sounds extremely young; it has the tone of a fifteen year old. The start of the concert was what started to turn me off. We had a 'dj' set by Mark Ronson which went on for an enjoyable half hour. The venue liked that as the music was familiar and upbeat: something you've heard on the radio and like. What the crowd (and myself) did not enjoy was Dizzy Rascal's warmup which followed. It followed after a half hour wait for him to start: we didn't care that much to wait for 30 minutes! The crowd of about 10,000 didn't warm to his style of rapping which was unintelligible and extremely fast meaning that if you did recognise anything about the song you couldn't work out what he was saying anyway. However I could understand that just about every song he sang was "for the ladees in the house!". Yawn, get a new shout.
His debut album recently won the Mercury Music Prize which awards achievements in songwriting. This does not however mean the artist is in any way popular, a mistake Justin's management seemed to miss. 'Boy in Da Corner' is the album, listen to samples on Amazon or somewhere if you can be bothered. He's not worth it really.
We sat (not worth standing for it) through an hour of the awful durge of increasingly out of tune rapping, watching without the aid of the video screens present. When Justin finally came on (1:45 after the start) he started out fine. The set begins with a video edit which has many Jazz influence beats building up in time with the synchronised video. You get dancers with faces obscured and flashes onscreen of feet coming up stairs. When you think the volume of screaming can get no louder, it increases another notch. He starts with his best song 'Rock Your Body' which is energetic and fast paced to say the least. How he manages to sing and dance the way he does I have no idea. However the act is not really about him singing as often the songs are drawn out and ruined by overblown ego led renditions shown in songs like "Take It From Here". He uses his 'accomplished' guitar skills? no way, they're mediocre.
I was disappointed he didn't give us any of 'Worthy Of' which I consider one of the strongest tracks he's done, but they must have thought it didn't fit with the rest of the set.
The music was cool - things like the crane which held him up above the crowd who were on the floor of the venue meant that it became a little bit different. That was interesting, he did some beatbox stuff which was also nice, but there was something about the whole thing which seemed rather safe. He hasn't changed anything throughout all the shows that he's been doing - whether in Tacoma or in London or Paris it's all the same. I have a video of his first ever solo live show which was in Britain earlier this year and his set is exactly the same as it is now. I felt like I'd already seen it.
Don't get me wrong, he was great and interesting and all this, but there were things that disappointed me.
Plus the venue, the nia is the most awful sounding place ever. There were loads of bass speakers at the front, but nothing anywhere near where I was seated which meant that the sound was very flat and one dimensional. One didn't feel immersed in the concert as you'd expect. A real shame.

PI review link
knot magazine


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