Monday, October 24, 2011

Concert Review: Theophilus London at The Urban Lounge

Posted By on October 24, 2011, 4:18 PM

The up-and-coming local DJ Flash 'N Flare and headliner Theophilus London were a perfect pair, as they played for a crowd of about 100 or so hip-hop heads, techno lovers and, of course, your staple assortment of hipsters at Urban Lounge on Friday night.---

DJ Flash ‘N Flare bestowed a range of music on the crowd that covered electronic to R&B. He really showcased his music acumen during a techno set he was spinning, which seamlessly transitioned into BBD (Bell Biv Devoe). No one would ever dare accuse this guy of being one-dimensional.

Flash 'N Flare's universal appeal served as the perfect appetizer before the main course meal, Mr. Theophilus London. As only London could do in his unconventional way, he saw fit to begin this meal with “Wine And Chocolates,” the song off his debut album Timez Are Weird These Days. As London approached the stage from the stage-right steps, he sang the opening lyrics, “It’s time to live it up, ooh,” like a PA announcement. The increased crowd immediately filled what room was left rounding out the stage. Of course, I couldn’t go without mentioning what London was sporting this evening. He has been recognized for his keen fashion sense, from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Cole Haan and was featured in spreads for GQ and Vogue magazines.

This particular night, the Brooklyn-bred rapper wore black skinny jeans with high-top black-and-red Nike Blazers, a black brimmed hat and black blazer with black sunglasses. The black blazer only lasted until the beginning of his second song, “Why Even Try.” Then, he swapped it for a stonewashed jean jacket.

But we’re here for music, right? And a mixed bag of tunes were certainly provided. The hip-hop-laced “Last Name London” was next up, followed by the electronic induced “Love Is Real.” London then proceeded with his first released single, “I Stand Alone,” which was featured on the trailer for the season premier of HBO’s season 2 of How To Make It In America. Taking a glance at the crowd made it noticeably obvious that our eclectic group wasn’t too familiar with his music … or they took the song literally and stood alone.

London didn’t fare any better with his crowd as he began to perform a song from his mixtape. Applying his MC mindfulness, he then shifted to the melodic, smooth “Overseas.” The song not only reinvigorated the crowd but also London’s confidence, which was apparent in the effortless motion of his stride across the stage as he ran his fingers over the xylophone positioned next to the DJ table. He reciprocated the crowd’s enthusiasm by inviting a young woman onstage to perform something that resembled a lap-dance.

London didn’t disappoint the rest of the evening; in fact, I think he gave his audience a night they’ll definitely remember. “Girls Girls $” put the crowd into a frenzy, but it was the unveiling of his new song “Neighbors,” featured on the Twilight: Breaking Dawn soundtrack, that broke into a full rock concert with his bass and guitar players summoned onstage to rile up an already enthused crowd.

Just when you thought there was no other genre this man could touch, he went into a Prince rendition (Whoa). To top that off, after the show, Mr. London himself stuck around to DJ a set for all attendees—talk about fan appreciation.

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