Published Oct 24, 2014Year-over-year repeat HPX performances are a rare beast; after all, considering how touring cycles work, how much more do most bands have to offer two years in a row? In the case of Toronto's BADBADNOTGOOD, they actually played two HPX sets in 2013: They headlined their own show at Reflections and opened for Killer Mike at Olympic Hall.
So why the quick return? For one, the band are talented and engaging enough as performers that few would complain about the opportunity to see them again. (In fact, they also appear to be the "secret guest" at the Seahorse on Friday night (October 24).) But also: hip-hop called. The jazz-trained trio once again were asked to help set the stage for one of the festival's biggest evenings of hip-hop, only this time they got to stick around and perform with the headliners as well. Before that, though, BADBADNOTGOOD performed their own set and were given an endearingly lengthy amount of time to connect with a Forum crowd that grew in both size and energy throughout their set.
Having seen the band three times now, their HPX return didn't necessarily offer much surprise or novelty, although it was able to include a bit more material from their latest album, III (released since last year's shows). There's still a bit of a gap, both style- and tone-wise, between their more jazz-influenced compositions that make up the bulk of the show and the now-standard covers that wind the crowd into a frenzy to finish off the set (their cover of TNGHT's "Bugg'n," their combo of Tyler the Creator's "Bastard" with Gucci Mane's "Lemonade"). But what's exciting, to me, are the spaces in which that gap is collapsing in on itself. III's "Kaleidoscope," was performed as a precursor to the covers, and album-closer "CS60" fit right in between them, bridging BBNG's worlds with impressive precision and power.