Sound issues sabotage k-os at the Danforth Music Hall
On Friday Night, the Danforth Music Hall beat out Sound Academy for the title of worst acoustic venue when k-os hit the stage to promote his latest release, a rock/hip hop album entitled BLack on BLonde. k-os has called the album a conversation, and for an artist whose fame spawns from intelligent rhymes, Friday night's muffled conversation was a lackluster strain to the ears.
Wearing a trendy golden arm party, thick-rimmed glasses, and sneakers, k-os kept a fairly low profile, occasionally calling out to the quiet crowd -- perhaps to see if anyone was still out there. An all ages show, the audience was smaller than anticipated and the energy was low, particularly for a Friday night. Even his back-up breakdancer, who hit the stage during "Mojo On," could only temporarily enliven the crowd.
BLack on BLonde, which was released earlier this year, features 20 songs split into two discs: BLack contains hip hop songs reminiscent of k-os' classic style, while BLonde showcases k-os' ability to successfully take on rock and roll. k-os is known for fusing hip hop with any and every other genre so the strength in quality found on BLonde is no surprise.
The double album also features collaborations with Canadian artists Sam Roberts, Sebastian Grainger, Corey Hart (sans sunglasses), and, my favourite, Emily Haines. It's just too bad last night's performance of their collab "One Time" couldn't be saved by cleaner sound.
Hope sprung during a moment of aural clarity when k-os picked up his acoustic guitar and showed off his impressive vocal chops. But he cut the song short, dropped the guitar, and started chanting, "All I care about is music in the city that I'm from." Not even the Toronto love could stir the ever-thinning crowd. The only time I heard the crowd go wild was before he played "Sunday Morning" when he commanded them to scream as much as they would if they were at a Jay Z and Justin Timberlake concert.
All in all, for an artist with such a true talent, k-os fell flat in his hometown last night.
Photos by Brian Morton