Friday, July 29, 2011

Theophilus London at The W Hotel | Reptar at Bardot 2011.07.28 Miami, FL

W Hotel Flyer
Miami was calling this past Thursday night and I was ready to answer the stacked lineup of young up-and-coming artists showing off their stuff in the Magic City. Despite a hot iron fiasco and a hidden wallet, my +2 at the W Hotel's 2nd Anniversary party made it into WET with enough time to exercise our open bar bracelets. Global music director Michaelangelo L'Acqua had really done his homework in selecting rising hip-hop name Theophilus London to provide the entertainment for the warm summer evening. A brand new album, an appearance on Kimmel and an upcoming tour with Big Boi in Oz are just a few things going on in the life of the brand smart rapper. We were on Miami time, so the music didn't kick off until after 10PM, but he jumped right into it with a medley of electro pop-hop tracks that showcased his aptitude for catchy beats and decrying lyrics. The venue was a beautiful pool surrounded by perfectly grown palms and over the top cabanas. The only off piece of the perfect setting was a lacking PA system that just wasn't cutting it for Theo's smooth flow. Beyond that, we had a time grooving in the to overtly funky instrumental undertones as we sipped palliative Canadian whiskey.
 From a poppy "Love Is Real" as the set opener to other noteworthy tracks from Time Are Weird These Days, including energetic rockish anthem "I Stand Alone" and bass line driven "Why Even Try", the set covered all the bases. The crowd seemed some what confused, or perhaps apathetic, but this did little to dull Mr. London's onstage antics and off kilter dance moves. I admired his confidence and vowed to catch him in a more presentable room that would bring out his entire sound.
 My outlandishly dressed cohort on this particularly evening has an even more questionable music addiction than myself. That being said, we were not satiated enough to head back North. Instead a plan made earlier in the day went into action, and the next stop was Bardot for an intimate show with Atlanta youngsters Reptar. Previous exposure included a single YouTube video and jokes about their nomenclature's ode to a childrens cartoon monster from the show Rugrats. The place was packed from the bar to the couches with just enough hipsters for comfort. Luckily the band took it upon themselves to wait for us to get there before starting the set. The next 90 minutes would encompass one of the more powerful auditory experiences I have had in recent history.

I stood amazed, in between swift dance moves, as I witnessed pure, unadulterated energy push from the five boys playing way beyond their years. The crowd didn't seem to be in tune with what they were witnessing, but much like Theophilus earlier in the night, this did little to dissuade them from dropping a full out dance rock attack on the Miami club. Front man Graham Ulicny was doing his best to flex charisma as his stuttered, yet fitting, vocals shifted between low moans to high pitched yells. Keyboardist William Kennedy held nothing back as synthesizer waves bounced around the room as much as he did behind the rack.

A tight knit rhythm section with an accentuated percussion element rounded out the building tension abilities and overall feel good cavorting. I really can not say enough about these guys other than the quality of the product is right on, and I am buying. In this case I will admit that words are limited in describing the fresh yet familiar sound Reptar captures, so I will for once let the music speak for itself. If you don't believe me, then maybe you should pick up their album Oblangle Fizz Y'all - the first CD I have purchased in over four years.

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