#WMS 2012 recap: City Hall Amphitheatre
Chris Morgan Foodchain performing at City Hall Amphitheatre during the 2012 Westword Music Showcase.
Every year, for the Westword Music Showcase, we enlist our army of Backbeat wordsmiths to host various stages, and, in addition to their emcee obligations, we ask them to pull double duty (or triple-duty in some cases) and also write up the acts that appear on their individual stages. Britt Chester hosted the City Hall Amphitheatre stage. Page down to read his thoughts and see some photos.
Chris Morgan Filthy T performing at City Hall Amphitheatre during the 2012 Westword Music Showcase.
With the band getting things started just a few minutes behind schedule, the stage at City Hall Amphitheater felt like a sweltering microwave. Filthy T opened the day to the filling venue, and by the time things got underway, a crowd of about 50-75 had gathered in front of the stage. When FilthyT started into its take on "La Bamba," the crowd had really started to feel the energy and gradually began dancing and jumping around with the band.
Chris Morgan Broken Tongues performing at City Hall Amphitheatre during the 2012 Westword Music Showcase.
Broken Tongues piled on the stage next, and after a quick sound check (with only some minor errors on one of the guitar pedals) their set was starting. It kind of caught the crowd off guard -- maybe it was just the pure funk of the set, or the insane pipes on the female vocalist -- when they wanted to hit, they hit hard.
Tongues built on the foundation laid by Filthy T as more people were being drawn into the sweltering furnace -- for real, it was like sitting under the magnifying glass of some kid burning ants. Alas, it wasn't enough to deter anyone from having a blast with Broken Tongues, and a few beers later, most people were just getting to the "it's too hot to not drink more beer" stage of the day.
Chris Morgan American Trash Republic performing at City Hall Amphitheatre during the 2012 Westword Music Showcase.
American Trash Republic followed Broken Tongues and brought a much different vibe to the stage. Devoid of any instruments, the five-piece emcee group raged with some lyrics and spit hard. The crowd had somewhat dwindled to the shadier parts of the venue, or even inside, but ATR still powered through the set. And if their showmanship wasn't enough, Concept One got down on one knee at the end of his set and proposed to his girlfriend. Yes, love was in the air at City Hall, and when she said yes, the whole place erupted in celebration for the newly engaged couple, and their set was over.
Chris Morgan Whygee performing at City Hall Amphitheatre during the 2012 Westword Music Showcase.
Whygee, who was mingling around the venue all afternoon, came to the stage after American Trash Republic and set up shop with his DJ, brikAbrak. If there is any doubt as to whether or not Whygee is real lyricist, let those doubts be quashed right now. Many times I overheard people in the crowd, most of whom probably don't follow local hip hop at all, talking about legit his set was. And, yes, they were correct. Whygee threw it down hard.
Chris Morgan Big Wheel Electrosoul performing at City Hall Amphitheatre during the 2012 Westword Music Showcase.
BigWheel Electrosoul rolled right on stage with Whygee as his set came to a close and smoothly transitioned into the cleanest live hip-hop production of the day. With QKnox on the keys, DJ Check One (aka Dameion Hines) on the drums, and brikAbrak keeping things steady on the turntables, BigWheel delivered an intriguing set. There's just something about the live production of these guys -- the errors, the improvisations and the tempo always seem to fall into place, and, when it really comes together, it's impossible not to get your groove on.