Public Enemy at the Ogden Theatre, 12/8/12

Categories: Concert Reviews

Eric Gruneisen
Flava Flav of Public Enemy last night at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.


Flava Flav was in top form last night at the Ogden Theatre, from hamming it up informing everybody that Manny Pacquaio got knocked out in the sixth round to sharing the story of how he came to wearing the ever-present iconic clock around his neck. But it was when he grabbed the bass at one point during the set and slapped the strings with his gold-ringed fingers precisely thumping out the bassline for "Welcome to the Terrordome" that had the crowd fired up, and they were equally as awed when he stepped behind the drum kit and banged out the beat for "Time Bomb" and later went into an impressive solo during "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos."

See also:
- Review: Public Enemy at the Ogden, 2/19/11
- Q&A: Chuck D on Public Enemy's groundbreaking debut, Yo! Bum Rush the Show
- Profile: Enemy of the People, 12/9/94

Antonio Valenzuela
Flava Flav of Public Enemy holding his own on the bass last night at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.

Public Enemy took the stage around midnight last night with a bass line so loud it made your ears ring and eyes water. After serving as host for the evening for this traveling hip-hop classic caravan, Chuck D took the stage as a performer as the funky whistle from "Don't Believe the Hype" blared. The group's chemistry still seemed very sharp as the crew move through its more than hour long set, rocking "Can't Truss It," "Rebel Without a Pause," and the first verse of "Fight the Power," before Chuck demanded to hear only the bass going into a funky remix of the song.

Eric Gruneisen
Public Enemy last night at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.

The energy level was high and the performance was sharp. At one point, Flava Flav paused the crowd to take off his fur coat, revealing a second hoody, which he also removed, telling the crowd, "This is my American Express. I never leave home without it," as he pulled a clock from underneath his tee shirt, before punching seamlessly into "Bring the Noise." It is Public Enemy's 25th year anniversary, and the outfit is still in top form as though no time has passed. The crowd was hyped as Flav had the crowd repeating his signature slogan, "Yeah, boyeee!"

Eric Gruneisen
Chuck D of Public Enemy last night at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.

Chuck taunted the crowd playfully by saying, "I'm here to drop bombs, Denver; what ya gonna do?" He repeated himself several times until the crowd responded in unison and PE then dropped into "Show Em What You Got." Other highlights from night included Chuck stopping the band a bit later to let Professor Griff tell the crowd, "The music industry has been taken over by some guys called 'the Illuminati," but let's take back hip hop," and the crew also took a few moments to remember Terminator-X, before DJ Lord went into a mini-solo doing his best Araab Muzik impersonation with a Nirvana sample on the MPC. The group closed out the night with one last hype performance of "Fight the Power."

Eric Gruneisen
Flava Flav of Public Enemy last night at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.

The night went long with Public Enemy performing for almost two hours, but it showed that these "Gods" still have a lot left in them and lots of fans who still love them. Flav, Chuck D, Professor Griff and the S1W's still possess the precise performance style that has cemented their legendary status in hip-hop. Honestly, you could've swore this was still 1987, and Yo! Bum Rush the Show had just came out.

Eric Gruneisen
Flava Flav of Public Enemy last night at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.

Location Info


Ogden Theatre

935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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