DJ Shadow at the Ogden, 11/19/10
With Pigeon John
11.21.10 | Ogden Theatre
See slideshow and read the interview with DJ Shadow
Josh Davis (aka DJ Shadow) has come a long way since his days collaborating with hip-hop icons Gift of Gab and Lyrics Born, and his skills have only gotten more sharply honed as the years have gone by. DJ Shadow's extensive record collection makes for interesting listening when he's creating a live set -- you never know exactly what you'll hear. He didn't disappoint, dropping a technically perfect, hard-driving set that showcased the scope of his taste and talent. But first, Pigeon John warmed up the crowd with his playful, witty hip-hop stylings.
Pigeon John melds classic elements of hip-hop with some modern tweaks, like the two soul singers (one of whom, Erika Dee, was also deejaying the set). Their harmonic backing vocals were gorgeous, and Pigeon John has a good flow and crisp, enunciated voice that lends to his whimsical mood. They did "Side to Side," a collaboration with Blackalicious, Q-Tip's "Let's Ride," and Pigeon John's own "So Gangster," which was perfectly executed and well-received.
Erika Dee's crisp, deep effects, wobbly basslines and popping beats were deceptively simple, creating funky yet subtle support for the lyrics and harmonizing taking place above the melody. Evy Jane, the other singer, had a lingering, haunting voice; she sang the opening stanza of "You Don't Own Me" a capella before Dee dropped in some serious funky beats and they moved into a different track. The three of them worked well together, sharing the stage, full of charisma and clearly having fun. Pigeon John closed with "Excuse Me," a slightly less freewheeling tune, and then the trio left the stage.