Sole and the Skyrider Band, Dopethought @ Kilby 08.25

Posted August 30, 2011 in ,

Sole and the Skyrider Band
The loyalest of fans showed up to see Sole and the Skyrider Band at Kilby for what I can only describe as the most intimate show I have ever been to. Playing a show in the middle of summer on a Thursday evening in Salt Lake City is a brave thing to do. Not that any out-of-towners would know about the Twilight Concert Series, but I don't think the'll ever book a show on Thursday here again because another hip hop, more radio-friendly artist was playing just a few blocks away. Oops. Not that small shows are a bad thing––it was such a huge contrast from the Aesop show the night before, that it was kind of a relief to be able to be in my own space.

I'm not super familiar with the local hip hop scene, but mostly because I generally don't listen to it anymore. There's something about summer that screams "PHAT BEATS," though, and it's fun to listen to while riding bikes in the blistering heat. Dopethought, who opened, was pretty good. He presented himself and his rhymes well, but it seemed like he needed some more experience. It wasn't bad, but he could be better, and with practice, he could for sure get there. Besides, he looks fucking young, these things take time. He opened for Murs a while back, though, and that's pretty cool!

To be completely honest, I generally preferred Sole's solo stuff to the addition of the band, but the show was awesome and made me change my mind about a lot of things. The new songs are less frantic, but still undoubtedly Sole as fuck. Sole's stage presence reminded me of Zach Galifinakis at times, which might just be 'cause of the impressive beard taking up most of his face, but some of their mannerisms were kind of similar. He even rapped about Noam Chomsky. Classic Zach material!

There was a violin making whale sounds in some songs, and a post-rock, hazy feel in all of them. They sounded more refined than earlier albums, and more to my liking, for sure. Lyrically, it's borderline emo-rap, but political enough to kick Atmosphere's little bum. The thing I like most about Sole and The Skyrider Band, though, is that they really are an "everyman" band. The lyrical content is different than that of what most people think of when they think hip hop. Sole raps about real things instead of trite bullshit, which is where I feel like most mainstream hip hop these days is headed. He's political, but not in a shove-it-down-your-throat kind of way, but like, "Oh hey guys, this is what is happening! Just FYI!"

In my impromptu "interview" with Sole outside their air-conditionless tour van, I found out that Sole has a wife, some dogs and a garden at home. I asked him what his favorite thing to garden is. "Beets!" He replied without even thinking. It's hard to tell if he was making a pun or not, but either way, I liked his answer.

It's obvious that he's a normal person with normal thoughts, and is absolutely unfazed by his celebrity. The real-ness of this band gives me a tiny glimmer of hope in this weird, fucked up world. Besides, hip hop saved my live.
Sole and the Skyrider Band