Public Enemy and the 5 Senses

 Well, it turned out pretty frickin’ good.

Hearing Public Enemy performing “It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back” all the way through was much better than last year’s GZA doing Liquid Swords; mostly because of how Chuck D and Flava Flav kept their initial promise when they said at the start that they were going to wear us out. The album might be 20 years old but it and PE haven’t lost an ounce of energy or relevance. Take note 21st century hip hop heads.

I also have an update with the Five Senses Experiment. First off, as I’ve been talking with fans at the shows, I’ve had fans tell me that they think the ears are the most important but in second position, I’ve also have several votes cast for the eyes. And as I’ve been watching audience and seeing if what fans tell me is really what their actions show as true I’ve notice a bit of a discrepancy. Let’s just say I haven’t seen a lot of seeing-eye dogs at concerts and when the lights go down seems to be one of the highest moments of crowd excitement, and in both of those cases the eyes are our guides and triggers to being entertained.

Lastly, I experienced a very interesting moment of interplay between my (sight)eyes and (sound) ears. During the Bombsquad intro, Hank Shocklee, was dropping some serious dub-bass and then chopping it up with break-beat in rapid fire-style. During this moment I was listening to the music while watching a fan backstage who was thoroughly enjoying the show and raising his hand high in the air with his finger pointing as if he was firing off an oozy. I thought this was amazing because what my eyes were seeing was enhancing and adding more intensity to the music I was hearing and thus making the whole experience that much more fantastic. Had I not “seen” this, I would have (as I usually am in most cases) watching the DJ do his thing. Chalk one up for the eyes!

But prior to the show, I almost decided that I could do without my ears when a probably drunk fan behind me kept repeating “ I wanna see Flava Fav,” directly into my right ear. Luckily, he moved away but this experience made me think how the ears, and hearing, can really make a show terrible, much like when sound issues(crackling speakers or unwanted feedback) can keep an artist from connecting with the audience or worse, make the audience irritated and annoyed. Chuck D did a fabulous job of working right through the problem (actually making a part of the show) when for the first two songs, his and Flava Fav’s mics were switched. Instead of two-tables and a microphone, Chuck D had two mics (and two turntables behind him) as he, during the songs, did a mic check and by the third song he finally found the right mic.

So the EXPERIMENT goes on with Day Dos of Pitchfork Music Festival. Oh, and by the way, taste (swigging brews and gobbled up Chipotle burritos) and touch (pleasure rumble of dub bass) have been right up there in the voting for the most important or disposable sense.

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