Review by Daniel Ewacha
Photography by Rodney Gitzel
So, I spent two hours listening to pre-recorded music
ranging from ambient to techno to reggae [Rodney: some
of us suspected that maybe this WAS the show... ], rather than
seeing two opening groups. Don't get me wrong: I love that music,
but I guess my ignorance and empty glass were getting the best
of me. But, in the end, it would have been worth waiting all day
and all night to see these three brilliant musicians take the
stage and give the capacity audience one of the best live shows
I've seen this year.
At literally two minutes to midnight, the Mad Professor took his place behind his mixing desk, with Black Steele on mini-keyboard and Ariwa on mic. For those not familiar with the Mad Professor and his music, I will attempt to explain: taking pre-recorded vocal tracks and music, the Mad Professor sits behind a control desk with various panels, knobs and levers. He manipulates the vocals and music with different sound effects and by slowing down or speeding up the song. Black Steele meanwhile added various melodies and Ariwa sang along and, at times, added some heavy bass guitar riffs. It all comes down to what the Mad Professor wants to hear -- or, actually, what he wants us to hear.
It was quite fascinating to watch the Mad Professor and his cohorts in action, but the feeling -- the mood, the vibe -- was just as exciting. The audience was lifted to a state of euphoria, although the feeling was a bit eerie and frightening, at times. It's kind of indescribable: there was a sense of peace and love weighing heavy in the air -- along with the smell of marijuana... Speaking against racism and violence, Ariwa and Black Steele brought the audience members choser to each other as well as to the music. They also brought the audience closer to the performers, inviting two individuals up on stage to display their M.C. abilities (à la Ice-T). Both fared decently, to the delight of the audience.
The Mad Professor doesn't put on a show or an exhibition -- rather, it's an experience. The stage lights didn't change colour once, yet this concert was more memorable than most big-name shows that have come to town lately -- or even in the future.
Considering copying some of the images from this story?
Please read this first. Thanks.