Branny and I attended the annual Doomtree blowout on Saturday night. It was easily one of the best, most energetic concert experiences I've been a part of.
I enjoyed the format of the show, with the entire group performing for about a half an hour, then splitting into individual sets for each of the members (with extremely short interludes in between), before coming back together for the grand finale. The group has great chemistry, and since this was the first time they'd all been together since the previous year's blowout, you could tell they were really feeding off each other and the excitement of the crowd.
I've been a big P.O.S. fan since seeing him live a couple years ago, but I had no idea that the rest of the Doomtree crew was that good. Cecil Otter had a great set, playing with live instruments, which really accentuated his metered spoken word style. Dessa commanded attention every time she opened her mouth, I'll definitely have to hunt down some of her stuff. Sims and Mictlan put on good shows, too (even if the planned world premiere of Mictlan's new music video kept experiencing technical difficulties - it got funny toward the end, when the show was effectively over, the problems let up and we got to see what ended up being a fairly blase video).
P.O.S.' Never Better will almost certainly (spoiler alert!) be my number one CD of 2009, but it still can't even touch the raw sound it has when he's rapping live. He has a fire that I haven't seen from many other performers. He only did 5 or 6 of his own, songs, but he touched on all the biggies (thankfully, he got everyone together to sing "Low Light Low Life", a personal favorite of mine off Never Better.)
The crowd knew every word to every song (seriously, I'm not sure I've ever seen such audience participation at a show before), and more than once, you could see the performers looking at each other in disbelief at how stoked the crowd was to be there.
Seriously, anyone from the Cities area who's even remotely a fan of this group owes it to themselves to check out next year's blowout. For fans of the Doomtree collective or any of the individuals that make it up, it is not to be missed.