words and photos by Caroline Harrison
WHY? at MHOW, 9/13/2012
WHY? stopped in Brooklyn last night (9/13), headlining a sold-out show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Labelmates Doseone and Serengeti supported, playing to a more enthusiastic and packed house than most opening acts see. DJ Thanksgiving Brown spun between sets.
Serengeti raps without any hurry, imparting lyrics to the audience as if he and they were just having a beer together. His conversational style carried his impressive lyrical ability effortlessly. Serengeti's set wasn't flashy, but it had substance.
Doseone's stage presence is the opposite, with the demeanor of a caffeinated Looney Toon and a voice that sounds like he's inhaled a tank of helium. His adept rapping quickly won over any skeptics put off by the bizarre timbre of his voice. Dose rapped and sang over chaotic beats he produced with a complex synth & sample set-up. His infectious enthusiasm and smirking delivery were hard to resist.
WHY? played a healthy mix of old and new material, including rap-heavy "Jonathan's Hope" off their upcoming record, Mumps Etc. Much of WHY?'s appeal comes from frontman Yoni Wolf's confessional vocal delivery. However, the band's five multi-instrumentalists (including both Yoni's wife and brother) provided a rich, layered sound as critical to the set as Wolf's jaded and honest lyrics. As a part of the encore, Doseone joined WHY? on stage to perform a song by their former outfit cLOUDDEAD, "Physics of a Bicycle."
More pictures from MHoW are below.