mbanck (mbanck) wrote,

Free and (Un)Easy

I went to the Free & Easy festival at the New Backstage together with Bene yesterday. I have been to last year's Free & Easy with the Debian crowd (and specifically Mako, Micah and Dogi) and back then Mr. Lif of Def-Jux fame was on, along with an american DJ mako knew about. That evening was really outstanding, we first had a lot of fun in the Biergarten and later on some of us moved into the main area to watch the concert.

Yesterday, Sleepwalker came along with a couple of MCs and DJ Ben Kenobi (called "Sleepy & Friends" or something). The first major difference was that there were huge amounts of people, already the tram was overcrowded and we had a hard time moving along the Backstage. In the main area, a rasta guy was asking everybody how much they loved to smoke blunts, so we decided to first get a beer in the Biergarten.

The first thing which happened then was a guy who decided to discuss with us that it was extremely unfair to have free admission and then a price of 4.80 € for a beer (for a Maß, mind you). The music in the Biergarten was pretty cool and laid-back, but in order to escape this guy (Bene was sure he tried to hit on him), we went back to the main area, where the HipHop-Show was running full speed now. Surprisingly, there were less people in front of the stage than outside. The music was OK for an event with free admission, but nothing like Mr. Lif of course, just a couple of third-row Hamburg rappers. However, I downed my liter of beer quite fast and was in pretty good mood afterwards. The concert ended soonish, followed by a DJ-set from Ben Kenobi. He did some beat-juggling, but then reverted to playing the usual Rap-club tunes you hear each Friday in Backstage anyway. After a while, we went back to the Biergarten, got another beer and danced a bit to the tunes there (I bet it was an M94.5 DJ behind the decks there). A sizeable part of the crowd seemed to have left by then, as moving around became increasingly easier. We walked around and danced around a bit more and then decided to take the N17 tram at 3:18 to head home. It was great fun overall I guess.

Update 13.9.2004: I went to Free & Easy again on Sunday, this time on my own. The first thing I watched was the end of the Johnny Cash Tribute Contest. Apparently the guy who won made a second performance. It was pretty good, but he was just imitating the great man, while I rather hoped people would interpret/cover his songs (like he did on his own, e.g. with U2's 'One' or Depeche Mode's 'Personal Jesus') and bring them to another level. Afterwards, a Rock n' Roll cover band played, which was quite fun with everybody dancing.

I also passed by the Biergarten shortly (they showed 'Trainspotting' there), but the main attraction for me was Schnute in the small area. They are five guys playing Nu-Jazz live. It sounded a lot like the Kruder & Dorfmeister DJ Kicks! tape I hold dear and was a spectacular performance. The drummer mainly kicked an upbeat loop which seemed to come straight from a well-programmed drum machine. They also had two bass players (one mostly playing a contrabass), a guy playing sampler/synthesizer and a guy playing the clarinet/flute/sax. The sound was really awesome, it sounded very electric, though most of it was made by conventional means and most everything played live, except for a few sample loops. Sadly, the dance floor was empty for most of the show, it was really danceable in my opinion. They sold their new CD after the show, but 16 € still seemed a bit expensive to me, until I found out later that it is a double-CD. Highly recommended.

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