Busta Rhymes @ The Sheridan Suite, Sunday 25th May 2008
Review - Neil
I would class myself as a Soul and R&B man for sure, but this week I went to a Hip-Hop concert and a Rap concert both in Manchester. The Hip Hop concert was the legendary group De La Soul which was held on Thursday 22nd at the Ritz in Manchester City Centre. It was a very good concert and De La Soul had the place bouncing, literally!!! The Busta Rhymes concert was held at the Sheridan Suite near Manchester city centre.
I am not a massive Busta Rhymes fan but the reason why I went is because I had tickets for the cancelled K-CI & JoJo (Jodeci) concert and the promoters allowed us to use these tickets to gain access so I thought why not!!
I have never seen Busta before but he is a legend in own right. Trevor Tahiem Smith Jnr (born on May 20, 1972), better known as Busta Rhymes. He was a member of Leaders of the New School and released two albums with the group before breaking out with a 1996 solo hit single "Woo Hah Got You All in Check". He is known for his often high-speed rhyme-delivery, as heard on his hits "Gimme Some More" and "Break Ya Neck".
The Last time I went to the Sheridan Suite was for the Omarion concert which to be honest wasn’t that good and was full of kids, so I wasn’t looking forward to the Busta Ryhmes concert that much. Along with the fact that the Omarion performance was more of a long PA rather than a concert, I was also worried that Busta Rhymes would this be the same!!!
Me and my girlfriend arrived about 8pm-ish and Steve ‘Smooth’ Sutherland was on stage doing a DJ set. He’s supposed to be UK’s best R&B DJ at the moment, but on this performance I didn’t rate him at all!!! He just played a very weak, commercial Pop/R&B set which was uninspirering. The compere for the night was a chap called Kat from MTV Base. He was hilariously joking and mickey-taking all night which was good. There was a reasonable turn out, about 400 hundred people but this time thank god there were no kids!!! The crowd was a mixture of Hip Hop heads, young urban fans along with the odd wannabe “Gangsta”!!!
3 Flow were the first PA to come on and they sang a cover version of ‘No More’ of which they did a very good job and they sounded crisp. They then proceeded with their own song ‘Sending Out’. I thought this song was average and nothing special, but I suppose it was OK. My girlfriend noticed 3 Flow had SOUL CONTROL written on their tops!!! My friend told me they were a 3 man group from Bury founded by DJ Basezone of Soul Nation Radio fame. After their performance, the compare Kat called them back to introduce themselves and he made them do an acappella of “Wifey”. My feelings about 3 Flow is that they are too old for today’s market and if they want to make it big, they probably need fresh producers.
I’m not sure who the second band were, but I enjoyed their set which was very soulful and surprisingly they had a live band as backing instead of a CD which seems to be coming normal practice these days!!! This band had an American/Mancunian male vocalist who sang well, but I’d say the crowd didn’t really feel either group. This might be because they were R&B acts and the audience were there for a rap concert.
Busta’s DJ Scratch-a-Tor then came on and he did a good warm up set for about 40 minutes prior to Busta “busting” on stage about 10pm. He was bouncing and getting the crowd really hyper. His first comments were ‘Your Pussy Smells of Fish’!!! The stage setup was better than that of Omarion’s gig because the speakers were set further out so the audience could see more of the stage and the acts.
Busta’s performance was electric, especially when he started throwing loads of water into the crowd!!! He was performing with his side kick Spliff-Star, who is a part of Busta's Flipmode Squad. These two together have a special rapport which shows on stage. They are just mental and too funny!!!
About half way through the concert some ‘prick’ started booing Busta!!! Busta wasn’t impressed so he stopped the showcase!!!! He walked off stage and into the crowd to confront the youth. He basically told him to shut up and stop disrespecting him and he will deal with him after the show!!! His exact words were ‘You Blood Claart’!!! I thought the security in the place should have kicked this ‘prick’ out straight away, but they never did which disappointed me!!!
I though Busta would be really mad and to his credit he put on an amazing performance. He made so many jokes and he was regularly playing cameos with the crowd!!! I thought I wasn’t a Busta fan, but I just couldn’t believe how many good tracks he played!!! He rapped all his classics and performed a host of tracks from his new album ‘Bless’. My favourites must have been ‘Woo Hah’ and ‘Light Your Ass on Fire’. His show was hi-energy stuff and well worth the money. Busta doesn’t take himself seriously and is a truly professional performer. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and it was a proper concert and not a PA unlike the Omarion/Mario concerts that I’d been to earlier in the year!!!
Soul Control Verdict:
I just wish that ‘prick’ hadn’t messed things up for Busta!!! The same kind of interruption also happened at the De La Soul concert where a lad had a go at one of the rappers and De La Soul weren’t amused either!!! Is it any wonder big stars don’t come to Manchester that often; if this is the way they are treated, who could blame them. I’m still not keen on the Sheridan Suite as a venue for concerts but it’s still better than nothing.
Soul Control Rating: