Saturday, June 6, 2015

Live Review: Jedi Mind Tricks @ Bowery Ballroom

It has been a very long time since Vinnie Paz and Stoupe have graced a New York City stage together as Jedi Mind Tricks. The Philly underground hip-hop icons released their latest record, The Thief & The Fallen, earlier this week and celebrated with a return to The Big Apple.

As the house DJ spun classic hip-hop cuts, the group arrived a half hour late on stage from their 10 p.m. scheduled slot. With random images playing behind them on a screen, Jedi Mind Tricks came out with liquor in hand to throw a party a Friday night house party. As they opened with new cuts to get the crowd going, it was clearly the classics that New York wanted to hear. As Vinnie Paz spit out "Razorblade Salvation," "Target Practice," "Heavy Metal Kings," which saw them bring out Brooklyn rapper Ill Bill, the night could have belonged to more stars. While the group, who are now joined by DJ Kewstion to battle and team-up with Stoupe, proved to be great party starters the show could have exploded into the stratosphere had more guests like GZA, RA The Rugged Man, Immortal Technique, 7L and Esoteric, who have all worked with the group came out and made cameos. The issue with the set was that many of the songs would go short because the verses from their famous friends would be cut out, yet, they made the best of it and still managed to showcase a fun gig. Giving a platform for three emcees, lesser known to most of the room, Paz would allow them to come out and go A Capella on 16 bars in front of the audience, showcased how underground hip-hop will never be just a thing of the past. As random images and clips of Mike Tyson, Satanic worshipers, vintage Black Sabbath, and the glory days of New York City graffiti were projected behind them, Jedi Mind Tricks made the night an experience that was all their own.

After an hour on stage, they retreated to the wings, poured a few more drinks and came back for an encore that included freestyles and a special guest spot from emcee Poison Pen. As they said their farewells from Friday night into Saturday morning, Jedi Mind Tricks promised to not make their return to New York so long.