Live Video: P.O.S., Dessa, Astronautalis, F. Stokes

As F. Stokes took the stage at Friday’s sold-out show at the High Noon he made sure that crowd knew “hip-hop is alive and well in Madison.”  I don’t think the crowd needed much convincing.  Before the start time of 10pm all of the tickets had been bought up, and people had to be turned away in droves. (Pssst…buy your tickets in advance!)

Starting with the hometown hero F. Stokes,  each performer brought their A-game and kept the crowd’s enthusiasm (and hands) at peak levels.  When F. Stokes was about to leave the stage after his last song, True Endeavors founder Tag Evers leaned in and gave him what the crowd wanted…a few more songs.  (Don’t forget F. Stokes is back in Madison on April 23rd w/ Psalm One – Tickets)

Astronautalis’  Tom Waits-esque, throat-full-of-gravel vocals about the American Revolution left many picking up their jaws even before he ended his set with a freestyle rap about topics shouted from the crowd.  The rules: the topics couldn’t be anything he’s ever rapped about, and the topics couldn’t be anything anyone else has ever rapped about.  Vincent (the dog from LOST), a wolf with lasers for eyes, Charles Nelson Reilly’s favorite khakis, empty beer bottles, purple monkey dishwasher, and big, heavy leather cowboy boots were chosen.

If Dessa hadn’t let us in on the secret that she had a sinus infection, we wouldn’t have been none the wiser.  The crowd roared after every rap that was hit with impeccable timing and after every lung-draining high note.  She even had to repeatedly and politely tell some in the front row to settle down and stop yelling her name.  “It’s been ingrained in your head since childhood to react when someone shouts your name…please, it’s distracting me.”

By the time P.O.S. took the stage at close to 1am, the crowd was already in a sweaty pile at the front of the stage.  The back of the sold-out High Noon gave the illusion of emptiness as all 450 occupants were crammed into the front half of the room, shouting along to every word of every song.  P.O.S. started his set with the lead track, “Let It Rattle”, off of his newest album, and he didn’t look back.  Playing equal parts new stuff and old stuff, every song was met with a sea of hands in the air and a deafening chant of choruses.  Every Never Is Now.

Below are a slew of videos from the night.  Also visit True Endeavors’ YouTube Channel for a few more videos from the night as well as other past shows.

Tell us what your favorite moments from the night were.

-Justin Kibbel

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2 Responses

  1. Wow…this is an awesome review. Dessa’s set was a revelation. I had no idea she could sing so well. She’s going to be huge, for sure.

    Thanks Justin…for so apty summarizing what was a great night!

  2. Agreed—this is a killer review Justin! Great job. It’s so cool to see this fresh take on hip hop.

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