Live Review: David Banner - House of Blues - Los Angeles, CA
Wed, 09 Jul 2008 17:22:06
Besides the occasional artist no show, the most oft heard complaint leveled against rap shows is that the artists don’t put much effort into performing. Many times that's just the closest stone for detractors of the genre to hurl, but sadly they're often dead on with their aim. While haters can probably toss a number of complaints David Banner's way, a lack of effort could never be included in the barrage. When the Mississippi native brought his humid brand of southern rap to the House of Blues in Los Angeles on Tuesday, he let lose a downpour of rhymes that crashed and boomed like a full-born thunderstorm.
"Tell your weak friends who missed the show, that they missed the best show of their motherfucking lives." By the time Banner broke out this bit of self-aggrandizement, he'd already worked so hard that it seemed less outlandish than true. Backed by a full band and supplemented by Power 106's DJ Skee on the decks, he hit the stage like a man possessed from the very first note. It was far from a capacity crowd at the HOB that night, so the energy in the room felt a bit subdued when things first kicked off. Undeterred, Banner charged headlong into fan favorite "Mississippi" like the entire world was watching. Making full use of his well-rehearsed band, he amped up the guitars and pushed the song into full-blown rock mode by the end. Anyone whose eyes are open can see there's a thin line between a hip hop head nod and a heavy metal head bang, and Banner constantly blurred the line between the two, even going so far as to drop a "Smells Like Teen Spirt" interlude in the middle of his song "9 MM."
Unable to contain his intensity to the stage, he covered nearly every inch of the club throughout the night, spitting rhymes from the middle of the crowd, high atop the shoulders of a bouncer and even from the second floor balcony overhang. Fans got hugs and high fives along the way, not to mention a couple of honeys who got freaked on for good measure. Cuts from his new album, The Greatest Story Ever Told, like "Suicide Doors" and the Chris Brown assisted "Get Like Me," had everyone singing along, but it was his classic "Cadillac On 22's" that made everyone yell the loudest. The track's earnest vibe fit perfectly with his go-for-broke performance style, and it was easy to see that the David Banner singing to the crowd was the same guy looking for a little redemption in the song. Like he says in the chorus, "I ain't did nothin' in my life but stay true," and in today's world a little honesty is probably the most you can ask of any man.