Lyrics Born / Cut Chemist / Edan and Dagha Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto ON - November 8

Opening act Edan and hype man Dagha stole the show with a set nearly identical to the one they performed at the Horseshoe a little over two months prior, including all the props: acoustic guitar and kazoo, moog, vocal effects pedal and a stack of records for show. However, he did hold off his rapping walk through the crowd until his guest verse during Cut Chemist’s set. And aside from that vocal appearance and a video track played within the mix, Cut Chemist kept his routine to mostly turntable tricks like beat juggling and scratching using both vinyl and CDs. The accompanying video footage that was semi-synced in the background was an inspired addition to the music, especially when Chemist cut up a crowd interview on DVD. It took a long hour to get there, but the climatic finale was worth the wait. Lyrics Born took the stage with a four-piece band and Joyo Velarde for assistance on the hooks. It’s always a joy to see a rapper in front of a tight live band and LB was no exception, but he still spent too much time begging for the crowd’s approval and participation. He also kept his set to mostly new and unreleased songs, ignoring some great ones from his back catalogue — "Burnt Pride” is ready-made for a live backing band. And maybe now I’m just nitpicking, but that polka dot T-shirt was god-awful. If only this show could have been played in reverse.