Home / Music / Concert Reviews / Rafter w/ Juiceboxxx and Blueprint @ Stonefly Brewery

Rafter w/ Juiceboxxx and Blueprint @ Stonefly Brewery

July 30, 2011

Aug. 1, 2011
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People who book shows tend to fill out bills with bands that have a similar sound or at least some hallmarks—be it an approach or instrumentation—in common. It's an understandable impulse, that human urge to categorize and compile, but as often as not it can make for rather dull listening. Thankfully, when the folks over at WMSE were putting together this Saturday night show for the Radio Summer Camp music festival, they looked for no unifying thread beyond a high-fun quotient.

Though he gained a significant amount of exposure through his collaboration with RJD2 (after guesting on the Deadringer track "Final Frontier," the MC and producer joined forces to become Soul Position), Rhymesayers artist Blueprint has been prolific outside that high-profile partnership, both as a solo act and with his group Greenhouse Effect. Known for blurring the lines between all genres beat-driven enough to support his admirably flexible flow, he performed here with a bass player and DJ (Milwaukee's own Kid Cut Up for most of the set), flavoring the mix with his own contributions on keytar and synthesizer. Though at times he seems a little too pleased with his own performance, Blueprint combines the lyrical inventiveness of his label-mates with a much-needed sense of humor, making him one of the best reasons to actually pay attention to Rhymesayers.

Next up was local-boy-made-good Juiceboxxx, whose time in his newly adopted home of Los Angeles has obviously been productive, given that he rolled into town with a brand-new batch of killer songs. His shows have come a long way since the days when he played beats on a CD player, particularly with the addition of phenomenal guitar player Willy Dintenfass, also of Big Fun 4Ever and Squidbotz. Like all iconoclasts, Juiceboxxx has a sound that is impressively hard to pin down, a driven mix of rap, house and rock that nevertheless remains instantly recognizable and completely singular. The very definition of a high-energy performer, he left it all on the stage—and on the amps, the bar and most of the ceiling.

Headliner Rafter is in actuality just one guy, a San Diego native with the Stan Lee-esque given name of Rafter Roberts, but he is joined live by a drummer and a svelte backup singer/dancer. His sound is a peppy, endlessly danceable version of indie-rock, cut throughout with jittery funkiness and keen pop instincts, and lent extra appeal by the occasional use of a talk box. It's all completely likable, right down to the charming between-song banter. His set was the perfect end to a show seemingly scientifically designed to put a smile on your face on a summer night.


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