Concert Reviews

KRS-One at Cervantes' Other Side, 10/19/13

KRS-ONE at EXTRACT HARVEST FEST at CERVANTES' | 10/19/13 The Extract Harvest Festival took over both sides of Cervantes' with classic hip-hop and reggae filling the place. KRS-One was the main headliner, but all of the acts, which included the Pharcyde, Mr. Vegas and Trapzillas, among others, had the house dancing all night long. The place was highly medicated, as many dread-lock rocking reggae fans mixed with in with hip-hop heads for a memorable evening of music featuring one the foremost MCs in the history of hip-hop, KRS-One.

As KRS-one urged the crowd to get hyped, he displayed his superior MC skills on the mic, rapping over his classic tracks with no additional vocals needed. The most impressive aspect of his performance was how incredibly crisp and clear his annunciation was, which highlighted every nuance in his voice.

Starting off with a freestyle ("this is real hip-hop/fuck MTV for real"), he then went into "Ova Here" and then worked his way through more classic material. At one point, he asked the crowd, "Who really bought Criminal Minded?" before launching into the Boogie Down Production hit.

The heavy reggae crowd went crazy when they heard the vocals from "Sound of the Police," at which point KRS-One flashed a smirk at his DJ before jumping into a highly-energetic performance. The MC literally didn't even need a mic with the strength of his voice. Every word was clear in the set, although during "South Bronx," the crowd drowned him out singing in unison. It was a great performance overall.

Before KRS-One's set, Pharcyde delivered a highly entertaining set that mostly drew from the its debut, Bizzare Ride II. The outfit, which was missing Fat Lip, rocked out songs like "Yo Mama" and "Passing Me By." The group was all over the stage, standing on the speakers and running back and forth getting the crowd hyped. Halfway through its set, the group rocked a tribute to the acts it has toured with before, which ended up being the most energetic part of the Pharcyde's set, as it ran through songs like "Scenario" by Tribe Called Quest and "OPP" by Naughty By Nature.

Earlier in the evening, Burnt MD, who also served as the MC for the show, rocked a short set before Pharcyde. The crowd seemed unfamiliar with him but during his second song when rapped from the floor surrounded by the crowd and his final song, "Bang Out," he received a decent response. Opening DJs Uplifter and Nikka T kept the crowd moving in the main room with interesting mixes of reggae, Top 40 and classic hip-hop songs. Nikka T layered some Wiz Khalifa over a deep, bass-heavy reggae beat. For his part, DJ Uplifter had the crowd raging.

Over at the Otherside, DJ BushyBush rocked some dance-hall classics for the dancing crowd, cuts like Beenie Man's "Dude" and Chaka Demus's "Murder She Wrote." BushyBush did his thing until Mr. Vegas emerged from back stage. Mr. Vegas's deep bass voice was so identifiable, it demanded silence at the beginning of his set. But he turned the energy in the room up once he began, saying, "This is my first time in Denver. But you have this legal weed, I love it."


Personal Bias: As a long time fan of KRS-one I found myself lost in awe many times as seeing him perform was almost sur-real. Random Detail: The Jerk Chicken being sold outside of the Otherside was incredibly delicious. By the Way: The first opener Oriiion, a alternative rock band, seemed out of place in the line up but was surprisingly good.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Antonio Valenzuela