Baby Bash - Crash Mansion, LA
Thu, 10 Apr 2008 13:30:04
Past the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, downtown L.A. holds a certain metropolitan charm characteristic of most large cities. It's got the towering skyscrapers and the romantic whimsy of any urban setting. However, at night, it's oddly deserted. As any L.A. resident will tell you, most of the true partying happens in Hollywood and further west. Nevertheless, downtown's been the spot for electronica and dance music for years, catering to the E-tripping, club fiends looking to rave. So Crash Mansion, formerly Club Naked, seemed an odd choice for the Latin hip hop road extravaganza of the year, Baby Bash and Pitbull's co-headlining run. However, with true showmanship and undeniable stage presence, Bash flipped the house upside down, pulling out all the stops for the packed crowd.
The primarily Latin crowd seemed comprised of girls in the early '20s dressed to the nines and obsessed with both headliners. One bar behind the main room played host to a DJ spinning everything from Flo Rida to classic Dr. Dre, as girls took shots and got down before Bash hit the stage around 10pm. In fact, the bar's best asset, beyond the gothic décor, remained a hypnotic, blonde bartendress that danced seductively as she served up shots with colorful names like "Pink Pussy." The chicken quesadillas were also to die for, but that's for another article. Once Bash hit the stage with a few other MCs, drummer and DJ, the audience erupted. Shots were slammed and French fries quickly swallowed, because everyone wanted to get close to the stage. Bash, donning a white hat, smoothly glided across the stage spitting the rhymes to "Baby I'm Back." The crowd immediately got in full-grind mode, and they kept it going for the duration of his set.
After that song, Bash addressed the adoring crowd with a big smile, "This is my first time coming to Crash Mansion, so right now we're blessing this building." A roar came from the audience, as Bash launched into the next song. His voice sounded pristine, and he pulled off everything from the melodic choruses to the gruff rhymes with ease of a seasoned pro. Bash works so well in the live setting, because he's not afraid to experiment. "Just Like That" showcased a highly talented bongo player, and the tribal beat allowed for organic movement between songs. Bash also remains a hell of a showman. He addressed that particular track, "To all my MySpace friends." He's also got a razor sharp sense of humor. Before launching into "Supa Chic," he quipped, "This one is for all the single girls with no stalkers. You hear me, no stalkers!" He pointed to one attractive girl up front and joked, "Not you, I know you've definitely got a stalker!" In fact, his set was for all the girls. At points he ran rhymes over samples "Next Episode" and "Sexy Can I," putting personal spins on both.
By the time, he played his mega hit "Cyclone," the crowd was ready for one last explosion of energy. He tore through the song, as seemingly every girl in the house sang and danced along. Bouncing from the stage, he walked off triumphantly. Pitbull followed with a worthy combination of cuts from The Boatlift. He kept close to center stage and moved slow, perhaps not to ruffle his white suit. Though a strong set, he never got the same response Bash did. In the end, both men made downtown L.A. the place to be though.