By DANIEL LEVIN BECKER
|Jurassic 5 at Outside Lands on Saturday.|
Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013
Outside Lands Music Festival
I think of Jurassic 5, in the relatively rare event that I think of Jurassic 5, as a gateway drug. They were a huge part of my musico-sentimental education, my first real and sustained interaction with hip-hop -- as I suspect was the case for much of the crowd at Lands End -- but somewhere along the way they receded into the background, still sounding impeccable and friendly and inessential. Then they broke up in 2007. Even before that, though, there was the vague sense that they had somehow served their purpose, had given me the vocabulary and affinities to deal with parts of rap culture that were more serious or colorful than, well, Jurassic 5.
Not saying I don't still feel that way, but Jesus, what a pleasure it was to see them yesterday. Just to be near their brand of meticulously effortless-sounding, relentlessly positive hip-hop for an hour was to be as content as I've ever been at a music festival, and that's not just nostalgia. There's something exemplary in their non-specific stage presence, their six-way interactions and tradeoffs and extended overlaps; there's something weirdly charming about four people bragging in song, in unison, that they sound like one person. Plus their output from around the turn of the century is wall-to-wall hits, and they played most of them. (I don't count that Nelly Furtado song from Power In Numbers, and neither did they.)More »