Run DMC concert offers energy and not much else

by Jay Krehbiel | 10/12/98 5:00am

"Loud" sums up precisely the RUN DMC concert Friday night, a show that had few saving graces.

The tunes were a flashback to, for me, junior high, where the louder and scratchier the music, the higher the audience cheered and jumped.

Unfortunately, we are in college now, and so the connection is not there. The concert had lots of jumping. But actual musical value was lacking.

They said they "were going old school," and this most certainly was the truth. Nobody at the College can remember when they had a hit.

The songs were short and pointless and were only used as a method for allowing big moments where the music would stop and all that would be left on stage were RUN and Deacon DMC under the spotlight, in some utterly useless pose.

This seemed to thrill the audience, and the effect was quite good. The organization of the whole event is to be commended, except for the part about a group that hasn't had a hit in decades. If it hasn't really been a decade, then it sure feels like one.

The concert started late, because the car sent to pick up the band at the airport was nowhere to be found, and so a student went to pick them up.

"He's a very mellow guy and he's very excited to be here," Roshan Shah '01 said of his close encounter with a band member as he drove them to Hanover.

Well, he should be excited; they haven't had a concert in years.

All jokes aside, points go the group for being able to arrive late and go almost directly on stage. They were energetic, enthusiastic, and it seemed that the crowd was responding.

The whole affair, actually, was quite interactive, and this was another good point. In addition to jumping and waving our arms back and forth on command, the audience got to sing. "What's her name?", and we responded, "Mary, Mary" at which time they ask "Why you buggin'?" so on and so forth.

"Walk this Way," one of their songs on loan from Aerosmith, lasted for about 30 seconds. In fact any time that the crowd would be getting into a song, and people would start to dance, well, then the group would stop the music.

I don't mean to sound critical and cynical. Okay, so maybe I do, but to me I just couldn't enjoy any of the music. Songs by bands like Barenaked Ladies and Matchbox 20 have lyrics you can understand and enjoy.

The lyrics of most of Run DMC's songs repeated endlessly, that is, if the song lasted long enough to have lyrics.

The concert was also spiced by large displays of ego, as they repeatedly reminded the audience, as if we could ever forget, that they were "the all time Great." Hmmmm.

More interesting than the actual performance was the crowd. Commendations must go to those who dared surf the crowd under the watchful eyes of Safety and Security and Hanover Police. In fact, just as this critic was leaving the concert, one unfortunate surfer was asked to leave.

Some people made it on top of the crowd twice, like one visor wearing sophomore, who must remain anonymous to protect the innocent.

Another fascinating part of the show was the "way cool" moshpit where people were trying to hurt themselves. In fact, two overzealous "moshers" almost come to blows, but thankfully for them, tempers cooled.

A friend of mine was pushed, by mistake, into craziness and barely escaped with his life. At which time, I, and no doubt others, began to think twice about the wisdom of such activities, but a commentary on mosh pits must be left for another time.

Overall, I had a good time, because there seemed to be a good atmosphere with the crowd, and I have another story to tell people. But the music was horrible, and the band just wasn't my bag.

Extra points to Jam Master J, who goes mostly unrecognized due to the omission of his name from the group's title.

He was really good at making scratch noises from the records, something that people shouldn't try at home.

Anyway, according to my well informed sources, "there's nobody faster than the Jam Master" so this is a good thing. The band came on with energy, but lacked substance, and because of this, they are not for me.