Grandmaster Flash Roxy Blu, Toronto ON - May 27, 2005
Published Jul 01, 2005With the clock closing in on two a.m. with no sight of the hip-hop legend, you had to wonder if Grandmaster Flash was about to break hearts and skip out on turning Toronto dancers on their heads. But when Flash finally emerged and grabbed the microphone to hype the patient crowd, you knew that he was going to take us back to the block party days, when he kept the kids jumping until the break of dawn. After repeatedly reminding the cats in attendance that hip-hop was invented in 1971, Flash took his position behind the decks and began to school us with the same breaks he was dropping 30 years ago, and fans went mental. Flash hasn't sharpened his beat-juggling or scratching skills after all this time, but it was this aspect that made his performance so genuine and exciting, as his display sounded identical to the routines he was delivering when he was a young cat. Even though a lot of the people who came to see this pioneer in action weren't even born when the Furious Five were formed, there was a unified energy on the floor as Flash continued to school his hip-hop students. The majority of the set focused on classic rhythms, which made for the best musical moments, but even joints by Redman garnered a huge eruption of appreciation. It was only when Flash took breaks to get on the microphone or let his hype man get behind the wheels that things grew tiresome. The party went on well past last call at the bar and everyone was still glued to the floor, but there was something really sad about the venue clearing out as "The Message" dropped for his last song. Even though Flash can bring back the essence of a block party for a couple of hours, kids today unfortunately have shorter attention spans.