Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

The Writings on the Wall – Plan B

Posted by xneverwherex on May 6, 2011

Plan B
Faith SFX (beatboxer)
DJs
@ Music Hall of Williamsburg
5/5/11

I went into this show knowing two things – a) Plan B is/was a rapper and b) end credits (w/Chase & Status). So I wasn’t sure much about his new concept album – The Defamation of Strickland Banks. I knew it was a departure from the rap side of things but didnt realize it was a whole story on some artist getting thrown into jail for a rape he didnt commit. The story is insane and as he gets thrown into jail and writes about hell and whats going on- the music really stands out.

The evening began with bass pouring out of the doors and it turns out a DJ was spinning to an empty crowd. Finally a crowd exists but 90 minutes later no one cared. We were all ready for the evening to _really_ begin. First came the beatboxer who was sick! Based on videos Id take a guess that it was Faith SFX who can pretty much imitate any sound and was great at getting the crowd revved up.

Finally Ben Drew (Plan B) comes out with a 7 piece band backing him. Everyone looks incredibly stylish with the men in 3 piece suits and shiny shoes. Women in all black standing on the side giving the music a gospel feel. The band is excited. Its one of their few solo shows, as theyre currently on tour opening for Adele. Plan B jumps right in with the album. They open up with ‘The Writings on the Wall’ and the crowd starts dancing. A couple behind me starts doing their own dance to the music. Plan B’s soulful voice takes you away as he sounds as great as any other 70s soul artist.

The band gets really into the music. A guitarist on stage right comes to the edge of the stage and is dancing as hes playing. The other guitarist on the other side of Plan B – with dark shades – starts dancing as much and they both bring out the great rhythms in the songs. ‘Welcome 2 Hell’ and ‘The Recluse’ are much more energetic and people all around are singing along to all the songs. He breaks out into raps during the songs and it works seamlessly.

About an hour later theyre saying how its the end of the show. Its hard to believe they flew through just one album. They come back out for an encore that is pure medleys. Full of dubstep beats and mixing up a bunch of oldies. The arrangements are awesome and theyve turned ‘My Girl’ into a brand new song. How ‘A Kiss From a Rose’ ever ended up that popular always boggles my mind. But that was another remix complete with a crowd sing-along. As Faith SFX comes back out to infuse beatbox into the songs it gets rowdy on stage. Somehow it turns into punk on stage and the band is creating their own circle pushing into each other which of course leads the crowd to follow suit. By the end of the show – the band is on the floor of the stage, instruments thrown everywhere and people on top of each other.

If youre seeing Adele – you owe it to yourself to check out Plan B. Im not sure any other artist could blend the rap into soul songs that seamlessly. The band is awesome and is thoroughly having a great time. Hopefully theyll be back here sometime soon as Ill definitely be seeing them again.

Setlist:
Writings on the Wall
Free
Welcome 2 Hell
The Recluse
Love Goes Down
Coming Up Easy
Hard Times/Runaway
Praying
What You Gonna Do
She Said

Encore:
Who’s Loving You. Tracks of My Tears/Lean on Me/ My Girl/Stand By Me (an awesome video from another show)
Dubstep Medly: Kiss From a Rose/Forgot about Dre (B)
Pieces
Stay Too Long

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