Madlib / Peanut Butter Wolf / Percee P / Aloe Blacc The National, Montreal QC - October 31

Montreal got the benefit of this stop of the Chrome Children tour (a collaboration between Stones Throw Records and the Adult Swim Network), falling on both Halloween and Madlib’s birthday, which meant there were not only weird little videos being broadcast on a huge screen but plastic skulls on stage, DJs throwing candy and people wishing Madlib a happy birthday. Given that this was an all-ager, most people were under 25, and given that this was a Stones Throw party, the booze flowed slowly, the weed went down steady and the love for the departed J. Dilla was everywhere. Since the show started obscenely early, I missed the majority of the two hours of DJ warm-ups from Koushik and J-Rocc, the latter apparently justifying his reputation as a world-class turntablist. Aloe Blacc jumped on stage and delivered a tight set of conscious… oh, fuck it; it was boring. Actually most of the evening was boring. The "legend in his own mind” Percee P dropped some hot songs but decided to make half of them a cappella to showcase his skills, which was initially impressive but ultimately tiring and condescending. Montreal has heard of rap before, thanks. Peanut Butter Wolf stepped up to the decks and dropped what was essentially the best high school video dance you’ve ever seen, simultaneously mixing records and videos of hip-hop classics. Finally, the b-day boy himself took the stage and... rapped the whole time? It was fine, but do we love Madlib for his rapping? As a producer, he’s a god, as a rapper, he’s just another rapper. Ultimately the whole thing came off like a show you’re supposed to like but didn’t. Thank god for weed.