Akil & Quanstar, Laura Reed & Deep Pocket
Wed. Aug. 27
The Pour House
You know it's been a good show when dudes start bowing to the artist on stage. That's what happened on Wednesday, a few songs before Laura Reed & Deep Pocket left the stage.
Their first set may have sounded a bit disjointed and preachy, but the vibe in the room quickly shifted as Akil took stage. While Jurassic 5 may be idle for the moment, Akil light-heartedly busted out raps over old-school hooks, from J5 classics like "Somebody" and "Quality Control," and new original beats.
He pulled girls to break it down on stage, and invited local emcees from the crowd on stage to rhyme with him and Quanstar. The poised Akil handed over the stage with a flow, reintroducing the members of Deep Pocket. Reed kept the crowd moving, soulfully belting out her heartfelt lyrics, whaling on the harmonica, and tossing around her head of massive hemp-wrapped dreads. —Alison Sher
Lucinda Black Bear
Thurs. Aug. 28
The Village Tavern
A small and enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Tavern to catch a late-night set from Brooklyn pop band Lucinda Black Bear last Thursday. While a few stayed glued to the Gamecocks game and the DNC commotion on the screens by the bar, most grooved to the unexpectedly heavy 'n' loud sounds of singer/guitarist Christian Gibbs and his troupe. Visiting Charleston behind a delicate new album titled Capo My Heart and Other Bear Songs (Eastern Spurs), the band's dynamic live sound was less atmospheric and far more dense and pounding.
Gibbs, clad in black pin-striped trousers and black-framed specs, switched between acoustic and electric guitars, and howled as much as he sang. Cellist Chad Hammer played a significant role in the rhythm section, locking in with bassist Mike Cohen and drummer Kristin Mueller, who got a lot of sound out of a very nice, vintage set of Rogers drums. —T. Ballard Lesemann