MC Chris shows that white kids love hip-hop at the Orpheum
I remember growing up and my mom telling me not to play so many video games as they wouldn't do me any good in life. I have to wonder if MC Chris was told the same thing.
When I saw MC Chris perform at the Orpheum on Saturday (5/9), I knew I should have spent more time glued to my tv screen playing Nintendo and reading comics.
Admittedly, the man has more going for him than an encyclopedic knowledge of game culture. His lyrics are smooth and he steps up to the stage with a confidence that belies the nature of his songs.
I couldn't count one song that didn't have the masses of geeks in attendance rushing towards the stage. The whole time, the audience area of the Orpheum was packed tighter than I ever thought was possible. I got to the concert an hour after the doors opened and found it hard to move beyond the doorway because there were so many nerds and hip-hop fans in attendance.
While MC Chris isn't the most visually entertaining musician, he doesn't have to be. From doing kung-fu moves during White kids love hip-hop to getting audience interaction in his famous Geek, Chris manages to offer just enough movement to keep from getting boring but not distract from his music.
Where he does excel is talking to the audience. He went into a long anecdote about his experience playing Left 4 Dead of X-Box Live and how you can't hide from zombies in a game. He has audience pegged and caters to them.
The opening band, Whole Wheat Bread was a perfect appetizer for the feast that was MC Chris. A three piece band that alternated between straight hip-hop and punk, Whole Wheat Bread was good no matter what genre. They were so good that they have the distinction of being one of the few opening bands I've ever seen called out for an encore.
If you haven't listened to MC Chris yet because you think that he's a niche act with no real talents in hip-hop, check him out immediately. The man is just as skilled as any of the other hip-hop stars performing today.
While I'll never have the lyrical talents of MC Chris, I can at least rest assured that their is a man out there far more geeky than me and is considered cool for it.
--Story/photo by Leigh Armstrong, Times Staff Writer