written by Rea Raven
A slim middle aged man adorned in suit and tie walks on to the stage, finds the microphone, and moves right into spitting out lyrics styled as alternative yet hip hop. “In case you couldn’t tell, I’m the legendary Buck 65” he self proclaims to the crowd.
Smooth transitions between songs while maintaining engagement with the audience is something that comes naturally to Buck 65 and his hand and body gestures continually match his song lyrics. Dance moves are prevalent as well, as he moves across the entire stage, making a definite show of it. Although his voice is somewhat monotone, it has a unique flavour to it, and he works his way through a wide array of songs as he taps away at the mixing deck to blend background audio and beats in with his words.
Some songs, such as “Break Chains, Make Change” have a definite positive message, yet that can be easily forgetten when other songs are about Buffalo Boobs and the sexual prowess of centaurs. “I’ll admit that song was silly,” he says, “but I’ve got a serious side too…” which would appear to be true, though clearly he likes to find a balance between the serious and the silly, the pretty and the sad, and it’s nice to hear him acknowledge this.
The bass is incredibly loud and I can feel the bounce of the speakers to my left as I stand up close and watch Buck 65 in action. Interestingly, at such a close proximity, it is apparent that many sheets of lyrics were scattered along the stage for him to glance at. Though that was the case, the lyrical flow was quite seamless, it makes one wonder why they were even there. None, however, were required when he asked if we wanted to hear a song about Poland, which lasted about 30 seconds and taught us that all the girls are pretty but the weather really sucks.
During a few songs, he welcomed Tiger Rosa from Sweden as back up vocalist. Her voice is beautiful and brings a lovely harmony in to the mix as they both appear to be enjoying being on stage and dancing around together.
After finishing a slower song, Buck 65 remembered that it was a Saturday night, and that perhaps the choice of material wasn’t the best on such an evening, in fact it was a bit of a ‘boner killer‘ he admitted. When touring so much, all the days kind of blend together he explained, but he made sure to bring it back to his thoughts on what a Saturday night sexier song should sound like with lyrics such as “Go ahead girl, take your clothes off.” as he sways his hips and asks if we want to get funky. He does not shy away from sexual themes, in fact they may be the most prevalent in the performance over all.
Buck 65 ends the set with a bang, performing his ‘birthday song’, a very up beat tune that definitely kept the energy levels high. With a full hour and a half of music, the night was full even if it was an early start and early finish. Buck 65 gave thanks to the audience, saying it had been super fun, then left the stage and walked in to the audience to hug people! Not something you see every day, and it was great to know he appreciates the people who came out, and wanted to be close to those who support his work. Excellent night all around.
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