Sole

The Bunkhouse, March 31

Rocking a sleepy crowd at 2:30 a.m. is not an easy thing to do, but well-read and highly philosophical rapper Sole pulled it off. Grabbing the microphone and ferociously blasting into “Napoleon,” Sole jolted the crowd awake.

From then on, it was an introspective musical ride through issues less explored by mainstream artists. “I Think I’m Noam Chomsky” brought the crowd’s attention to the Palestinian/Israeli struggle in the Middle East. Apathy was the focus of “Plutonium,” and we were given a guided tour of the music industry with “Da Baddest Poet.” Those who were able to fight off the sandman were rewarded in the form of duets.

Ceschi (pronounced “chess-key”) brought his uncontainable energy to stage as he joined Sole on the incredibly catchy song “Technology.” Things got rambunctious when Bleubird joined Sole on “Hustle Hard,” the two of them jumping around with a goofy, childlike energy. It was 3:30 a.m. when Sole bid us goodnight with an anonymous tune, a title-less unreleased track. Even for the performers, the wee hours were pretty late. Sole commented on how he should have been listening to audiobooks and scraping the bottom of his Netflix queue. ★★★☆☆

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VHS or Beta

Neon Reverb

VHS or Beta

The 7:30 p.m. start to their set in the hard-to-find downtown lot made VHS or Beta’s stellar show the most criminally under-attended of any band I saw that weekend. While the early start might have made sense had the venue not changed from the alley behind Beauty Bar (blame new zoning regulations), it did no favors to the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Louisville, Ky., dance-pop outfit. Nonetheless, VHS or Beta put on one of the better sets in Neon Reverb history. “Burn It All Down” might be five years old but it’s so likeable, it could still be a dance anthem.

DTLV

RunRebs