Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sage Francis and Friends at the Granada

I have listened to Sage Francis for years. I heard him first working at a small record store (remember those) in Lubbock, TX.

None of the artist at the Granada were local. This is just a fact.

I always prefer there to be a local group present at a show, because we have a lot of great local acts in DFW. But alas, I am trying to write about a city. I am trying to capture in words my actual experience of this vast, strange, and powerful place.

The audience at the Granada seemed to mostly know who Sage Francis was and have appreciation for him. In case you didn't know it; Sage Francis is one of the worlds premiere hip hop performers, he is an accomplished poet, and one of the popularizers of the Slam Poetry scene. Slam Poetry, for the uninitiated, is urban poetry that is heavily influenced by hip hop. It is also very free form with great rapport for originality. To be a bad ass slam poet you have to charm a room full of curmudgeons who aren't going to give you any sympathy if you aren't fucking brilliant. Sage Francis is one of the best.

People who filled the granada for the most part knew this. It wasn't lost on them. They were connoisseurs, and that a theater full of them was present at the Granada speaks highly of this fucking town.

Though I am pretty sure that the Granada attracts a contingency of SMU douchebags. Not that people who go to SMU are douchebags, its just that some happen to flower there. Rich kids, whose parents give an allowance that could finance a heroin addiction. I had a couple of these kids behind me during the show. I ordered a $5 Paps Blue Ribbon (I think this is the cost of a six pack at the supermarket), and eavesdropped on these kids until they disappeared.

Sage's back up band played first. It had a guy from the Mars Volta in it, I can't remember their name besides that. Enough said.

Next was B Dolan, who I had never heard but I had been told he would blow my mind. He did.

When he played this song:

The SMUnthinking dipshits behind me said B Dolan was going to burst into flame. When he insulted G.W. Bush, the pampered mustangs behind me got notably irritated.

It made me love B Dolan even more.

Its amazing how rock and roll hip hop can be.

Sage was fucking amazing. He came on with a toupe and buddy holly glasses. The back up band gave it a rock feeling, which I know was upsetting some of my old school Sage Francis friends. I ate it up. So did the crowd. He slowly regressed in the show from the new sound to the old sound.

The SMU dipshits were gone, the crowd was ecstatic. I was too.

When Sage finished he ran off the stage and began to hug the crowd. In a strange fit of catholic guilt (though I am a staunch atheist) I didn't hug him. I didn't feel like I deserved it.

My buddy Neil said it best, he went to try to shake Sage's hand and he saw some kid hugging Sage talking about how must Sage's music helped him through his grandmother's death. Thats what I assumed was happening. That was the energy of the crowd.

It almost made me forgive my $5 PBR.


  1. There were some guys from Dallas doing slam poetry before the first band went on stage. It was pretty cool.