By: Lauren Garbutt -
It was a cold and blustery night in downtown Buffalo, when indie-rapper B. Dolan of Strange Famous Records hit the stage at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar (affectionately referred to as DBGB’s) on Saturday night. The venue was cozy, dark, small and intimate, and despite the cold, a sizeable crowd showed up for Dolan’s appearance which promised the feature of a live backing band.
Opening the show were a number of local acts including the host of the show, Spec-ill K (not to be mistaken with golden-era emcee, Special K, or Halifax’s Spesh K), who performed a number of his own songs between openers and sported a ski mask for part of it. He also seemed to be the most experienced performer of the bunch (headliner excluded) based on stage presence and mic etiquette.
Next up was Frigid Giant, who had the crowd going with his original material and kept things interesting with a time-travel gimmick in which he performed songs over classic instrumentals from several different eras of hip hop. Part cover, part tribute, it was a trip down memory lane for fans of the genre. The Giant proved to be confident and comfortable as a performer, as he had no trouble delivering his verses without the help of a hypeman, and he exhibited crowd control through and through.
The final opening act was Dead Trash Mob Records; a rap crew who played a multitude of songs, spanning across several styles of hip hop, switching the members up song-to-song, taking turns highlighting each others talents in various ways. It was a smart way to introduce each member individually with such a large stable of rappers. There was The Chronic Collective, Bagel Jesus, Miggie J and The Greys, all sharing three mics. The variety of personalities made the somewhat long-winded set bearable, though some rappers were more capable than others.
B. Dolan took to the stage around 12:30am, without the back up band that was originally promised, but with good reason. Dolan explained that one of his bandmates whom suffers from celiac disease had unfortunately consumed a salad with croutons that nearly killed him. His humour about the situation and the fact that he promised to play an extended set as compensation led to no disappointed fans, as Dolan was more than capable of holding his own alone on stage, with only the help of a DJ playing his beats.
Dolan opened his set with “Still Here”, King Bee”, and fan favourite, “Kitchen Sink”, and continued his performance that mainly comprised of his regular material such as “Film the Police” and “Which Side”, but with some added treats like a spoken word piece about ODB (Who killed Russell Jones?), an introduction to his new poem he is writing about the one and only Bill Murray, and a dance-off with a crowd member to LL Cool J’s “You Can’t Dance”.
Toward the end of a great set, Dolan did a “fake encore”, pretending to hide behind a beam on the side of the stage to the laughter of the audience. Dolan did a great job of entertaining and interacting with the crowd throughout the entire duration of the performance, and proved that indie hip-hop is alive and well.
Dead Trash Mob