So this took longer than I thought it would to get around to writing up, but I've got to get something posted before too much time passes and I forget how awesome it was. Because this show was exactly that - AWESOME.
I arrived at the Urban Lounge early - the tickets said the show started at 9pm, so I rolled up about 8:30. Not a soul was there; the doors were locked up and the 'Open' sign was off. So I chilled in the car, listening to Polar Bear's eponymous album (because I just can't stop, I'm addicted) and waiting. Once the doors opened about nine-thirty, I rolled on in, getting my hand stamped and paying the cover charge (curse you, draconian and ridiculous liquor laws in Utah!) It was still mostly empty, and I sulked in a corner for a bit (bars aren't really my scene, after all, and this one was especially shabby and run down - and surprisingly small). But after a while, I started speaking to some of the other people who were slowly filtering in and getting to know some of them.
I could tell they weren't planning on having any concert for a while yet, as they were still setting up the equipment by 10pm. As I was talking to some especially attractive young women, I saw a certain potbellied, bearded man - Sole himself, milling about the crowd, kind of just chilling. I got to talk to him for awhile, and let him know that his sophomore effort Selling Live Water is probably the single greatest hip-hop album I've ever heard (although the Sole/SkyRider album that just dropped last year is a pretty darn close second). It was a pretty unique experience, and I got him to sign a CD for me and he was a pretty chill guy.
Finally about 10:30 the opening band went on, some whiteboy rappers named The Deadbeats. It was a lot more . . . traditional rap than Sole, and I was generally nonplussed - so I stayed talking to the pretty girls rather than paying attention to their performance at all.
A little after 11 the SkyRider band began an opening set without Sole, and frankly, I'm glad they did. It was a great post-rock set, really spacey, filled with heavy beats and soaring violin, almost like a happy marriage between the post-rock styles of a Mogwai and a bit heavier, beat-driven sound like 65daysofstatic, but without the industrial influences. It was a solid set, and I was engaged in their music.
Finally at about ten minutes to midnight, Sole came out for a side room, leapt onto the stage and the concert proper started, with a blistering, scathing rendition of 'Stupid Things Implode in on Themselves'. It started things off with a bang, and it continued to kick for the next hour. Song after song, Sole threw himself about the small stage, whirling like a mad dervish while still rapping, the SkyRider band laying some of the best rock-driven beats for him to rhyme over.
It transcended rap-rock - it's miles better than anything I can think of in the entire genre. From 'A Sad Day for Investors' to my personal favorite Sole tune, 'Salt on Everything', the beats were heavy and aggressive, uneven, progressive, and his rhymes were as spacey and stream-of-consciousness-esque as ever before.
In short, I'm completely glad that I attended the concert. It went a lot later than I planned, and I was tired as could be the next day, but it was totally worth it. I'd see Sole and the band again in a second, and enjoy the show immensely. If you ever have the chance to see them live, don't pass it up.