Review: Clipse at BOMA

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Thoughts on last night's Clipse show at BOMA coming up after the jump...

I don't have anything positive to say about the opening acts, who kept forcing me to camp out on the patio to avoid them, so let's cut straight to Clipse, who finally took the stage around 1:15 a.m.

This was my second go-round with Pusha T and Malice after catching them rock Emo's two years ago at SXSW. That show was probably one of the top 10 live music events of my life — contemporary rap's greatest duo performing most of their definitive album to a packed house of adoring fans. It left me giddy, so last night had a lot to live up to.

Of course, with Clipse touring in support of the inferior "Til the Casket Drops" and playing to a thin Columbus crowd, it was destined to fall short of such a high bar. Outside of that context, though, this was hardly a disappointment, and certainly not for the Thornton brothers, who beamed with genuine appreciation for the diehards' enthusiasm. This wasn't the packed house you'd hope for, but it was a mutual love-in nonetheless.

The setlist was generously balanced, mostly skipping over the new stuff until the end in favor of classic tracks from "Hell Hath No Fury" and "Lord Willin'". Malice and Pusha lived up to their reputation as rapper's rappers, all annunciation and fury with no corny mugging or lazy Lil Wayne-style meandering. Even guest Ab-Liva, with noticeably less charisma than Clipse, was a worthy contributor on this night.

Honestly, as much as I want to love the "Casket" tracks, they fell flat for me thanks to weaker production and less memorable hooks. On the other hand, the moments when Clipse burst into selections from "Hell Hath No Fury" — "Mama I'm So Sorry", "Ride Around Shining", "Keys Open Doors", etc. — were as gleeful as two years ago in Texas. If they just toured around doing those songs for the rest of their lives, I'd keep coming back.