De La Soul at Benicassim 2012

July 13, 2012

After Florence + The Machine pulled out of her headline billed slot, De La Soul were moved from the second stage to fill the void. Totally different sound, era and style, but anyone who denies the importance of De La Soul deserves to have their ears taken elsewhere. The show goes on.

There’s no bling. There’s bravado but no ego. This is pure hip-hop. Effortless flow, a bouncing crowd and a masterful control of the set’s tempo.

Without meaning to belittle them, it’s fair to say that De La Soul probably don’t have loads of hits that are instantly recognisable with the audience, especially when you consider that this was the slot that Florence was scheduled to play. This meant that a lot of crowd engagement was needed. Obviously there was hand waving and call + response.

They also busted out the old “left vs right” game, with Dave showing allegiance to one side of the crowd and Pos with the other. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but you did end up genuinely caring that your side was better than the other. Obviously, you wanna be where the party is! Based on this evidence, the party is clearly defined by who can say rude words the loudest when instructed to.

Me, Myself and I was mixed up quite a lot. This is a bit annoying when it’s one of the more well-known numbers and I want to sing along. But I’ll probably be praising Bob Dylan for doing the exact same thing tomorrow night, so I won’t dwell on this.

The biggest “dancing all the way back to the burger vans” moment came when the bassline of Feelgood Inc. kicked in. A verse was dropped with only Maseo onstage and then it all ended rather abruptly, which was a bit odd. I’m pretty sure that the roadies were already packing down the stage while music was still playing. They hadn’t overrun according to my watch. A slight shame as they deserved to go out in better style.

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