Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune
July 15, 2012
I was wrong, ok! All this time, I've been writing the NYC band as fluff--songs to buy chinos to. No longer. They make hit songs. Ear candy. Toe tapping pop music that everyone danced to, from rappers to the venue staff. From "A-Punk" on through their encore featuring songs like "Giving up The Gun" and "The Kids Don't Stand A Chance," the whole thing was a delightful end to a quagmire of a weekend.
Runner-up: Araabmuzik: It wouldn't be fair to rate this whole encounter without splitting it into two shows. The first was Abraham Orellana complete and utter massacre of an MPC sampler. His hands working faster than The Flash getting to second base, the producer/beatmaker rolled through thunderous instrumentals that weren't hard to get into, even if thunderous instrumentals aren't your thing. The second show...well, that was a coming-out party for Chicago rapper (and local firebrand) Chief Keef and Lil' Reese. The two rappers have both signed major deals, but the crowd must have missed the boat on the hype, as when the took the stage to perform their super smash "I Don't Like," only 40% of the crowd went nuts. Still, the juxtaposition proved to be a wild way to spend a Sunday afternoon. --Ernest Wilkins