LIVE REPORTNAEBA SHOKUDO7/26 FRI
Nagan Server served authentic hiphop and rap, in a set that evolved nicely over time. Starting off their first song with just one keyboard and vocals, by the end of their set, this young band was jamming hard on two keyboards and live drums, with the lead singer furiously soloing on an upright bass while delivering his vocal duties. One might be tempted to accuse them of cultural appropriation; with the lead singer sporting what looked like very short dreadlocks, and the two front men moving in a way that is stereotypical of African-American hiphop artists of days gone by. However, Nagan Server seem to truly and deeply love the genres of music in which they perform. They also execute those genres with an overwhelming proficiency that almost brushes away any hint of posturing. Further proof of their authenticity lies in the fact that, despite the fierce downpour, approximately fifty people stood unfailingly in front of the small outdoor stage on which they performed. Not only did the audience members stand patiently in a torrential downpour, they also danced enthusiastically to boot. Nagan Server’s lyrics spoke a lot about themes of spirituality and love. One song in particular had a chorus of “had to be,” which the lead singer explained is because we all had to be here together, in the rain, for this music. A nice added touch to their arrangements is that one particular keyboardist also doubled as a virtuous flautist and saxophone player; embellishing Nagan Server’s already gorgeous package with a healing, soulful vibe. They closed their set after their full-band jam, thanking their fans with love, before the small and dedicated crowd dispersed as efficiently as it had lent its attention in the rain.