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Wednesday
Aug292012

Afro-Punk Festival 2012 @ Commodore Barry Park (review)

Afro-Punk Festival 2012

The 2012 Afro-Punk Festival brought all sets of people to Commodore Barry Park last weekend. Whether it was the thrilling skateboard competiton or jammin' to your favorite band, this event had something for everyone.

 

Saturday

Radkey is a band from St. Joseph, Missouri that's made up of three brothers. They kicked things off for the Afro Punk festival and set the mood for the weekend. Even with some sound problems, the band's sound is reminiscent of Michael Graves-era Misfits. The punk group even did a rockin' version of the Teen Titans theme song.

Battle of the Bands winners Oxymorrons made sure that the entire crowd learned about geek life. The duo from Queens displayed amazing stage presence as they managed to transform the mosh pit into a dancefloor in mere seconds. Be on the lookout for these guys.

If Cerebral Ballzy appeared drunk during their set, its because they were (well, at least their vocalist admitted to it). Honor Titus staggered on the stage as he stared blankly at the insane circle pits. The outfit performed a set full of songs about beer, girls and skateboarding.

Erykah Badu and the Cannabinoids made sure the crowd of 10,000+ was completely blown away on Saturday night. Even though Ms. Badu started her performance 40 minutes late (yikes!), the crowd quickly forgave her as she performed remixed versions of her greatest hits. Rapper Mos Def even made a surprise appearance during the track "Love of My Life". Ms. Badu closed the evening with a showstopping cover of Lena Horne's "Believe In Yourself (Reprise)". As people yelled "Preach, Erykah", you had no choice, but to stare in amazement at the talented singer. The only negative thing about the set? No "Tyrone".

 

Sunday

The entire skatepark was filled with fans awaiting Flatbush Zombies' performance. The Brooklyn hip hop outfit have exploded on the internet since the release of their D.R.U.G.S. mixtape. Their set got everyone bouncing as sneakers and pants (!) floated through the crowd.

Soul funk band Bad Rabbits have been all over the place performing with acts like Taking Back Sunday, Every Time I Die and Glassjaw. Their set at AP was nothing short of excellent as the Boston band had the audience grooving and moving to the music. The band will release an EP and full length sometime soon.

Describing Straight Line Stitch's crowd as crazy is a complete understatement. Brooklyn certainly showed love for the metal group as they went completely apeshit. The rowdy viewers for S.L.S. made Cerebral Ballzy's audience look like kindergartners at the playground.

Unfortunately, there were some harsh comments about Gym Class Heroes' absence from this year's festival. The band were set to perform shows in Hawaii, Cali and NYC until vocalist Travis McCoy was rushed to the hospital in Hawaii where he still remains.

Janelle Monae is no stranger to the Afro Punk festival, having performed there on several occasions. Before Monae's set, producer Pharrell made a surprise appearance to discuss his admiration for the singer. Janelle's performance was one to remember as the small stage was filled with druids, backup singers, dancing violinists and one kickass guitarist. Monae brought a rockin new track entitled "The Electric Lady" and dedicated it to Erykah Badu. She rocked out so hard that her pompadour came apart. For the last song "Come Alive (War of the Roses)", Janelle had all attendees literally get low while she displayed some killer dance moves.