Oddisee and his Good Compny band showcased a special, exciting bond of musicianship as they continue their world tour.
Heralded as one of the more respected artists within the socially conscious realm of hip-hop, Washington D.C. rapper Oddisee has been an underground staple for many years. However, labels such as “conscious” and “underground” don’t define Oddisee, an artist who has broken through barriers and taken a long-term approach in perfecting his craft. The DMV native, joined by his Good Compny band, recently took his “Beneath The Surface” show to Brighton Music Hall and delivered a compelling performance marked by sharp chemistry with his band and profound sincerity fueling his freedom of expression.
The night kicked off with Boston artist Latrell James (who was recently featured in a new Cheerios commercial) setting the tone with offerings from his album Twelve, as well as unreleased music which was positively received by the punctual crowd.
From there, Olivier St. Louis (backed by Good Compny) delivered a potent blend of funk and soul music through a smooth, distinct falsetto. With the band fully in unison, transitions for slower, more intimate offerings to energetic records were seamlessly executed in a way that nationally revered bassist Thundercat (who is similarly gifted) would be proud of.
After Olivier St. Louis’ set, the Good Compny band quickly shifted gears in preparation for the main event. Once Oddisee hit the stage, not a minute was wasted in delivering an exhibition in tightly woven lyricism and robust musicality. A solid portion of the show focused on Oddisee’s album The Iceberg, his latest effort that delivers dynamic lyrical performances that place a prominent focus on America’s current political climate. The minimal production on the LP proved ideal for a live setting, allowing Good Compny to bring their skillfully synchronized instrumentation to the forefront. From a declaration of finding happiness in a troubled world on “Want To Be” to discussing racial injustice over an infectious blend of soul and trap inflections on “Like Really,” Oddisee showed an aptitude for rapping with supreme swiftness, clarity and purpose capable of attracting any audience who respect all forms of artistic passion.
With an hour to himself and his Good Compny on the Brighton Music Hall stage, Oddisee reached back into his wide-ranging catalog. Songs such as “That’s Love” and “You Know Who You Are” were beloved by the audience, which went line for line with Oddisee as he controlled the atmosphere of the room with genuine professionalism, never slipping up his delivery or missing out on the chance to entertain with jokes or interaction with the band.
By gliding through his generous set of offerings with smooth transitions, Oddisee’s storytelling abilities came to life through an engaging and interactive live experience, telling humorous stories about both life on the road and life in Brooklyn. And as much as Oddisee earned the spotlight, the D.C. rapper ensured Good Compny received an equal amount of shine; band members squaring off in a vocal duel (going one-on-one with surprisingly soaring falsettos) proved to be a highlight moment of the show.
With Oddisee being a seasoned performer, his technically proficient abilities came as no surprise for fans familiar with his work. However, the instinctive chemistry between Oddisee and his band was a special and noteworthy showcasing of musicianship. Wrapping up the night with “Never Not Getting Enough,” a prime example of Washington D.C.’s go-go music (a regionally embraced subgenre of funk), Oddisee managed to deliver free-flowing, politically charged messages, all while keeping the crowd dancing to the tune of his thoughtful lyricism. Between the masterful synergy with his bandmates and an authentic appeal capable reaching far beyond the genre of hip-hop, Oddisee can keep the comfort of not being a nationally recognized celebrity, all while touring the world and delivering a world-class live music experience powered by purposeful words and lively sounds.