Lyrics Born – Outside Lands Festival, San Francisco, CA 8/22/08

Outside Lands boasted what was quite possibly the most impressive lineup for a summer music fest this year. Lyrics Born faced some heavy competition for attendee attention as he was scheduled right up against The Black Keys and Beck. Those within earshot though were irresistibly drawn in by his charismatic rhyme style and infectious grooves that the Lyrics Born band has become well known for.

For those unacquainted with the Bay Area legend- Lyrics Born performs with a full funk band and delivers his rhymes rapid-fire-style, in the same vein as Blackalicious emcee Gift of Gab or Outkast’s Andre 3000. The Lyrics band is fully equipped and qualified, as is always demonstrated with face-melting solos delivered midway through their set. Holding down the backup vocals is Lyric’s real life wife Joyo Velerde, who is due to drop her own debut, solo album very soon.

Lyrics ripped right into his Outside Lands set with a flawless rendition of the first single off his latest album, “I Like It, I Love It.” Other new tracks like “Hot to Death,” and “Differences,” were delivered funky-medley-style, and mixed in with classic material like “Callin Out.”

Being a Bay Area native made this a special occasion for Lyrics Born, as was apparent towards the tail end of the set when he shouted out, “You know, there was a little bit of talk backstage… I don’t give a fuck what they tell me, this is home, and I’m ‘aint cutting my set short for nobody!”

Rocking a little longer than he was supposed to could very well have been the reason why Radiohead, who performed right after Lyrics, ended their set a little abruptly without an encore.

Even with an extended set, Lyrics could have easily kept on rocking for the completely rapt crowd that amassed around the stage. The Bay Area funk/rap/rocker delivered a standout performance at the massive music fest that left the amped crowd hungry for more.

Photo by Jeff Kravitz

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