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Pigeon John and RJD2 live @ the MusicBox

KOTORI's Laurel Anne Durland and Kizzy O'Neal check out Pigeon John and RJD2 at the Henry Fonday Music Box...

In an age where shows feel redundant and crowds simply demand the biggest bang for the buck, it’s always a pleasure to watch sheer talent and humble honesty draw the respect of the young, hip hop era. While such moments seem to be quite distressingly rare as of late, Pigeon John proves an exception to that wicked rule, offering a unique performance that is both personal and refreshing.

One of my best friends, and frankly one of the coolest girls I know, surprised me with a call last week inviting me to go to the Pigeon John and RJD2 show at the Henry Fonda Music Box in Hollywood. I happened to give her a Pigeon John CD years ago and she, like everyone else, only had to hear it once in order to realize the sound stood alone. She asked if I’d join her for the show coming up on Monday night. I didn’t think twice, I replied with a “Yes! Are you kidding me?” This show was different. I frankly did not give a damn if I had to fight a crowd, stand among the white hats on frat fools, dodge the sleezy girls flailing all over the place, or barely understand a god damn word Pigeon John had to say. I was going, because I like him and everything he stands for. 

What can I say? The show was sick. We got in with no hassle, grabbed a couple cocktails, and enjoyed the hell out of some Pigeon J. The sound was amazing, and the crowd were all there for the same reason and with the same vibe. And one of the best parts about it was watching and having that feeling that really good hip hop still exists. Pigeon John has always had a way of writing songs in a catchy and extremely unusual rhythm. At the show he told his story very easily and the way he spoke was unobtrusive, but the words still ran deep. He was a normal guy, with really normal thoughts. In a world where everyone is competing to be different, or everything is so in your face, he simply sang in the most beautiful way, about the things we forget are the most important, because they are so simple. 

RJD2 was a shocker for me. I have liked his music for a long time, but I was a bit weary about how the performance would be, considering we all know and love him as the beat head behind the decks and an MPC. His latest record, “The Third Hand,” in which he strays towards a more pop oriented album, had me a bit concerned with what I’d see here tonight, especially with a full band set up and the members rotating from guitar to drums to keyboards to turntables and back. Frankly, it was incredible. The songs were perfect dance fodder, and the creativity throughout the entire performance made it an unexpected little treat. The mix of the vocals, instruments, RJ on the turntables, and a video screen playing perfectly choreographed film in the background, orchestrated a living, breathing art piece.

It’s always astonishing to me that good music can be so healthy and such a valuable part of life. One show can put you in a good mood for a week. Every time you listen to the album or reminisce with that great friend who invited you to the show in the first place, you feel more solid for having gone and lucky to have been a part of something so unique.

words by Laurel Anne Durland, pix by Kizzy O'Neal

To see more pictures, bounce over to:  kotori.imeem.com

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