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Saul Williams

Saul Williams: live in Londonlive in London (2008)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: dktrdktr
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Saul Williams certainly has enough ideas, beats, and mind-bending lyrics to fill a good set, so it's slightly surprising he uses his A-game so sparingly. Too much of the music tonight came from his Trent Reznor collaboration, Niggy Tardust -- a concept album that holds a mirror to mainstream idea.


Saul Williams certainly has enough ideas, beats, and mind-bending lyrics to fill a good set, so it's slightly surprising he uses his A-game so sparingly.

Too much of the music tonight came from his Trent Reznor collaboration, Niggy Tardust -- a concept album that holds a mirror to mainstream ideas of race, hip-hop, rock, etc. -- but sadly, most numbers don't work live: too much space; too much noise; not enough of the aforementioned mind-bending.

To be fair, they (guitarist, keyboardist, DJ) did occasionally hit their stride, and when they did, it was fantastic: the likes of "Black Stacey," "Tr(n)igger," "Break," "Niggy Tardust," "Untimely Meditations," etc. got the whole place jumping. But it was when his band shut up and it was just Williams and his mic -- that's when things got really good -- a memorising intensity and a relentless flow of his lyrics containing, what it seems like at the time, profound answers to questions asked too much or not enough.

That's what you want out of a Williams gig: to be battered by endless ideas and thoughts delivered in such an intense way where all you can do is stand there and go "‚?¶wow‚?¶". And he can, and did occasionally do that, but not enough.

He played for almost two hours; roughly 40 minutes can start a revolution in your mind; roughly 1-hour-20 reminds you that you've just paid far too much for cheap lager and need to pee.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
nocigar (June 3, 2008)

to RRK - me either. although, i have seen a band who i'd be happy seeing cut 100% off their show...a band called The Big Sleep, which is funny because they practically put everyone to sleep until Minus The Bear got on stage.

RRK (June 2, 2008)

Score is for the review.

If you're paying to see someone live and all you want out of them is 40 minutes of music, buy the disc and stay home. I've never seen anyone live whom I thought would have been better off by cutting away 60% of their set.

fallingupwards84 (June 2, 2008)

this review sucks

steveman (June 1, 2008)

Personally, being battered by his ideas is what I'd least want at one of his shows. He's a good poet and the ideas are there, but his albums usually fall flat on their faces for me. Niggy Tardust was the first time I could find him in regular rotation.

dante3000 (May 30, 2008)

Good review. I always felt that it was tragic that the ideas contained in Niggy Tardust are on that album. It's a great concept (and one well past due) but it just gets lost in his weakest album.
-Dante

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