KRS1 Concert

I got a call from Bernard yesterday:

“You still going with me to that concert?”

“Oh shit, that’s tonight?”

I’ve always been a fan of music but In my 36 years of living on this planet I had never been to a concert of any kind.  This is almost beyond belief because the Breslin Center at MSU brings in just about everybody at some point.  I went to see Chuck D of Public Enemy back in 1993 but that wasn’t a concert, he was actually giving some sort of lecture.  If I would have been asked to guess what person or group I would go to for my first concert I would have said Stevie Wonder.  But it’s not the 1980s, it’s 2006 and I’m going to see KRS1.

It’s fitting that this is going to be held at The Temple Club.  This rennovated bar was the building that used to be the Apostolic “Bethlehem Temple” Church where I used to go in the 1980s.  It was my first experience at attending a black church and for good and for bad I will never forget it.

In 1985 my friend Tyrone is constantly bugging me to go to his church.  At first I can’t figure out why because he isn’t a religious dude but it makes sense when he tells me he only goes to church because his mother makes him so he figures I should go too because as long as he has to be bored every Sunday then he might as well have a fellow victim. 

I begged off as much as I could because, although I wanted to help a friend in need, to be honest the black churches scared me.  I had never been inside one but we used to have one across the street from where I lived on 919 Jerome and that church was LOUD! It was a small dilapidated building but the parking lot would fill to capacity every Sunday and the very walls of the church would seem fit to burst both with the sheer numbers of people and with the volume they put forth.  The men had all manners of nice suits and the women the most extravagant hats known to mankind.  Outlandish colors in both male and female attire seemed to be the order of the day.  I guess they figured if their music was going to be loud their clothes should be too.

Bethlehem Temple, however, is no ramshackle church.  This one was not poor folks, its congregation is upper middle class.  The cars that jam this parking lot are nice and new, with the church announcements rife with reports of Mercedes emblems being torn from cars in the church parking lot, a favorite pastime of neighborhood miscreants who like to wear them on chains around their necks.  The inside of the church on Sunday smells of perfume, cologne, and hair pomade.

Bernard and I make our way through the front entrance, navigating our way through crowds of people who probably used to wear Mercedes emblems around their necks. The foremost area of the club features a bar.  This section is entirely unrecognizable to me and Bernard says this isn’t where we’re going.  We walk to a staircase and begin ascending toward the balcony.  I remember this area very well.

I’m 15 and going up the stairs to the balcony to get a better vantage point to hear the choir perform.  Bishop Alfred Singleton’s daughter has got a voice that ought to be on records.  The way she belts out a gospel song will make you want to nail YOURSELF to a cross and I like to listen from up high.  Ascending the stairs I’m looking to run into some chicks who are near my age, preferably Ophelia (about a year or so younger than me) or her sister — Gina??? (Gyna!)

We’re looking down from the balcony observing the break dancers who are part of the show.  Before the concert actually begins these guys are dancing off to each other (you got therved!) It’s a blast from the past, it’s like a hurricaine hit Krush Groove and the only two survivors washed up here.  These guys are obviously professional and very good but the thing that leaps out at you is that they’re both white.  Breakdancing, of course, started in the primarily black and Puerto Rican areas of New York City and proceeded in much the same way that the older generations of tapdancers (hoofers) used to dance off at each other in a different era.  The modern incarnation of the hoofers seems to be white today.  There goes the neighborhood.

I’m looking down at the congregation remembering the very first time I saw the manifestation of “The Holy Ghost”.  Tyrone, of course, didn’t warn me in advance and I thought I was witnessing an epileptic seizure or something that nobody else seemed to notice.  I was looking to get someone’s attention when another fit spontaneously broke out in another person.  TWO epileptic seizures, what were the CHANCES?? Could it be the bright colors? (this line of reasoning anticipates the Pokemon seizure incident by about 10 years) Then the third one broke out and I began to sense that something was up.

The procession of opening acts seems endless.  First come the stylings of two white guy rappers.  They’re pretty good but the music is being bumped really low key.  When the next guys come on the DJ starts blasting the music and the effect is more spirited.  I, however, and unmoved as I don’t know who these guys are, I haven’t liked any new rap since Poor Righteous Teachers, and I’m getting pissed off having to endure all kinds of bullshit just to get to KRS1.  I’m decidedly uninspired.

Bishop Singleton is bringing down the house! He’s going on talking something about Jeremiah.  He knows the New and Old Testements apparently from memory, he’s booming into the microphone as with the authority of God! This Jesus fellow he’s talking about seems to be decidedly kick-ass! Being a product of the permissive and liberal ’70s I’ve never heard such moral certitidue before and I’m shaken to my core.  One would even say I’m inspired.  I’m going to be a Religious Guy!

If you’re waiting for me to get to the part where KRS1 shows up then don’t hold your breath.  The other acts took so long we ended up leaving in disgust.  I gave up waiting on KRS1 in this story.  Much like Jesus he’s not really coming back! 

6 Responses to “KRS1 Concert”

  1. Phelps says:

    I’ve been to a bunch of concerts, counting the free ones at the state fair.

    Willie Nelson (State Fair)
    Garth Brooks (State Fair)
    Elastica
    Hank Williams Jr.
    Alan Jackson (State Fair)

    OK, actually, I haven’t been to that many concerts. I was going to see Wierd Al, but it sold out before I could get tickets. (Seriously. Wierd Al. Guy I worked with went and said he rocked the house.) Bands I still want to see:

    Motorhead
    Devo
    Reverend Horton Heat
    Veruca Salt (will be in town Oct 15, and I will be out of town)
    Presidents of the United States
    Jackyl
    Tenacious D

  2. Phelps says:

    Oh, and Evanescence. So I can see Amy Lee’s boobies.

  3. mexi says:

    You haven’t seen the Russ Martin Experience???

  4. Phelps says:

    No. I almost went to the White Trash party this year (I already have a pimp hat) but I had to work.

  5. Nice Rack says:

    Veruca Salt opened for Bush in 1997 at the Palace, and they rock pretty decently. I recommend seeing them if you get the chance.

  6. Citizen Quasar says:

    As a genral rule, I abhor crowds. Yet, though it’s been a while, I have been to a few concerts.

    The last one was in Dallas at Starplex. This was Steely Dan. They gave us free tickets with backstage (Break area) access. My friend and I sat 12 rows back from center stage.

    Two beautiful chicks wearing spandex came along and had tickets to the exact same seats. Thanks, Steely Dan. I really enjoyed the evening!

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