David Banner House of Blues' Pontiac Garage July 9, 2008
Better Than: A rousing round of PaRappa the Rapper.
Download: This footage someone shot from last night's show...
Everybody knows a David Banner. He's that popular jock that everyone in high school should hate--he's popular, good-looking, charismatic, successful--but no one does. He's too goofy, too fun-loving, too affable.
So everyone loves him, and he fits in with any crowd--when he wants to.
Last night was no different. He backflipped on stage and he grinded on girlfriends in the crowd. He told jokes and he preached about God. To an extent, it was a nit of incongruities. But, hell, the guys was so charming, no one seemed to mind. Sure, some in the crowd snickered at the audacity of Banner saying "If you love motherfuckin' God, make some noise!" Uh, really? Using the lord's name in vain to praise him? Hmmmm...
But then Banner would flash a silly look and a smile at the crowd, and all was forgiven. That's pretty much how this show went.
Oh, there was music, too. Banner played the night close to the vest, playing mostly his hits and club bangers only. The highlights: "Play," "Cadillacs on 22's," and "Get Like Me," the last of which Banner performed three times for the crowd because he kept getting distracted during the first two efforts (getting held up while roaming through the crowd, mostly) and, each time, he promised he wouldn't end the night without doing the song right.
To his credit, he did just that--and yet he also didn't want to end the night. His set started late, at about 9:45 or so, and only ran about an hour long. I guess that's hip-hop for you, but it got a little annoying toward the end when Banner continuously asked the crowd to buy his new album The Greatest Story Ever Told. "It's a classic," he promised as the crowd began thinning out.
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That we'll have to see on. And while this show wasn't necessarily classic, it was still a fun time.
Critic's Notebook Personal bias: None. To me, Banner's always been one of those hip-hop artists you know about, but you can't remember any songs from. And then they come on the PA and you're like, "Oh, this is him! I like this one!"
Random note: Banner hilarious called out the two hip-hop stations in town, thanking one for playing his music early and wondering why the other was slow on playing some of his hits early on. But he refused to name names.
By the way: Did you know David Banner has a new album coming out on July 15? Everyone at House of Blues last night does now... Just kidding, it wasn't that egregious. --Pete Freedman