BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah Empire Garage, Austin TX, March 18
Published Mar 19, 2015Following an incredible DJ mix by J.Rocc at Empire Garage's Boiler Room, an MC asked whether BADBADNOTGOOD were around and promised that — surprise! — Ghostface Killah was to take the stage with them; seconds later, on came drummer Alex Sowinski to fill the void as a team took apart the DJ setup. There was a slight delay, but when Ghostface took the stage accompanied by Sleek Louch, he was all business: "The mics sound good. Let's just jump into it!"
They launched into a live-band iteration of The Pretty Toney Album's "Run," loosely based on the Ratatat version, that absolutely slayed and got the crowd, and seemingly Ghost too, excited for the rest of the show. They bounced through the collaborative Sour Soul highlight "Ray Gun," and Ghost implored the crowd to praise BBNG's expert playing: " BADBADNOTGOOD, give it up for them!"
It was a set spent exploring Ghost's back catalogue and beyond, even if it was only supposed to be a 15-minute set and they played for 40. Someone brought Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, and Ghost smiled, holding it up and calling it "a classic." Then, they rolled through some more: "Nutmeg," from Supreme Clientele; "Iron's Theme," from Ironman, in which BBNG's Matthew Tavares' played a huge keyboard solo and Sowinski added emphatic drum clamour, only to then lock back into the song's groove effortlessly; and "Camay," after which Ghost, looking like a kid on Christmas, demanded more tracks, set times be damned.
BBNG seemed to have an endless supply of hits at the ready to hype up Ghost, Sleek Louch and the sweaty, packed crowd: after the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" ("Had me wanna sing for a sec!" exclaimed Ghost), they ploughed through Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day," Wu-Tang Clan's "C.R.E.A.M." and Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya."
Then, just when it seemed like the set was about to end, Ghost asked the crowd: "One more?!" And they left (albeit hesitantly) to the tune of one more classic: "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit."