Concert review: Nas and Goodie Mob at the Adrienne Arsht Center

From The Miami Herald’s blog, Miami Music Matters

Hip-hop veterans Nas and Goodie Mob stormed the stage of the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami late Friday with a performance that was light on production value, but heavy on crowd-pleasing rap classics.

The show, put on by the folks who brought the Rock The Bells tour to Miami in 2007 and 2008, was a one-time-only truncated version of the traveling hip-hop festival, which skipped the Magic City in 2009.

 The Knight Hall, a classical music venue which has recently been home to concerts by hip-hop and R&B acts like Mos Def and Ne-Yo, was a less than ideal venue for this kind of show: Opening act ¡Mayday!, with its four-piece band and two vocalists, sounded sharp and clear, while both Nas and Goodie Mob, who had no live musicians and only DJs, suffered through muddled bass and inconsistent sound.

Headliner Nas, one of the highest esteemed wordsmiths in hip-hop, has been known to give uninspired performances, and Friday was no different. His sloppy one-hour set found him often skipping words and entire lines from his songs. He ran through over 25 songs, never lingering for more than a minute or two on each track. The audience didn’t seem to mind though, as manny happily rapped along to staples like “If I Ruled The World” and “Hate Me Now.”

Nas’s set weakened in the second half: After opening with much of his classic 1994 debut release, Illmatic, he tapered off into lesser known territory like “Breathe” and “Still Dreaming,” which caused many standing fans to take a seat until the closing moments, when he revived the crowd with “Made You Look” and “One Mic.”

One of the high points was a surprise appearance by Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, who performed the new “As We Enter” and “Strong Will Continue” with Nas, from their upcoming collaborative album, Distant Relatives. Stephen Marley joined onstage as well, and the three paid tribute to Damian and Stephen’s father, Bob Marley, who would have turned 65 Saturday.

 Earlier in the night, the newly reunited Goodie Mob performed in Miami for the first time in over a decade. The Atlanta-based foursome – Cee-Lo Green, Big Gipp, T-Mo and Khujo – reminded the audience of their soulful melodies and politically-charged lyrics with 90s songs like “Cell Therapy” and “They Don’t’ Dance No Mo’.”

Midway through their set, the group members delved into their solo projects: Cee-Lo belted out an ominous version of “Crazy,” the Grammy-winning song that made his other band, Gnarls Barkley, a household name. He also tackled his chorus and verse from “In Da Wind” by Miami’s own Trick Daddy, while Big Gipp took a stab at Nelly’s “Grillz.”

Goodie Mob, whose history is forever entangled with that of the Dungeon Family, reminded the crowd that they were part of some of collective’s biggest songs, including Outkast’s “Git Up, Get Out” and Cool Breeze’s “Watch For The Hook.”

The night started with local hip-hop band ¡Mayday!, who entered the stage with a Stomp-like drumstick routine, and debuted new tracks “Broads and Frequencies” and “Stuck On An Island,” from their upcoming sophomore full-length album, due in March.

The full setlist from the show:

¡Mayday!:

  • K2 (Wait A Minute)
  • Last Resort
  • Broads and Frequencies
  • Stuck On An Island
  • Starting Over
  • Technology
  • Crossroads and Avenues

Goodie Mob:

  • Goodie Bag
  • Get Rich To This
  • Dirty South
  • Git Up, Git Out
  • Thought Process
  • Sesame Street
  • Black Ice (Sky High)
  • Crazy
  • Soul Food
  • In Da Wind
  • Watch For The Hook
  • Grillz
  • Closet Freak
  • Steppin’ Out
  • Cell Therapy
  • They Don’t Dance No Mo’

Nas:

  • Hip-Hop Is Dead
  • N.Y. State of Mind
  • It Ain’t Hard To Tell
  • Represent
  • The World Is Yours
  • Life’s A Bitch
  • The Message
  • Street Dreams
  • One Love
  • One Love (Bob Marley cover, with Damian Marley)
  • As We Enter (with Damian Marley)
  • Strong Will Continue (with Damian Marley)
  • Welcome to Jamrock (Damian Marley)
  • Road to Zion (with Damian Marley)
  • If I Ruled The World
  • Hero
  • I Can
  • Nastradamus
  • Nas Is Like
  • Hate Me Now
  • Get Down
  • Stillmatic (The Intro)
  • Breathe
  • Still Dreaming
  • America
  • Got Ur Self A…
  • Made You Look
  • One Mic
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One thought on “Concert review: Nas and Goodie Mob at the Adrienne Arsht Center

  1. I missed this event, it’s usually held at Bay-front. Just like the venue, the list of performances has changed. Before it was way longer and they wouldn’t allow any acts from Miami. That was total disrespect but we’ve opened their eyes. Big ups to Mayday landing the deal.

    Dale!

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