7/27/15 – Brighton Music Hall

The band looked more prepared for a dinner party than a concert.

With fedoras and suits, one long black dress with stylish slits, and Xavier Dphrepaulezz (aka Fantastic Negrito) with a bow tie, they worked up a sweat under Brighton Music Hall’s hot red lights. “I’m sweatin. I feel like a melting chocolate bar” he said to the crowd, droplets falling off his face down to his bright yellow socks.

He was thrown a well-deserved towel; he had bounced all over the stage, grabbing the shoulder of his guitarist, shuffle dancing to the beats of the drummer, and banging on the stool of the keys player. But most of the time, he was at the edge of the stage, clutching at the air in front of the crowd or sending karate chops timed to the beat. Fantastic Negrito was born in Massachusetts and though the cold was far behind us, he knew the icy villain would soon return, so he offered some advice: “Hump through the winter” he chanted.

And though the band didn’t touch every corner of the stage like he did, they too deserved a towel (or five). The keyboardist swiped at his keys, slamming down chords and sliding up the scale as if he was smooth talking and caressing the notes out of the keyboard. The guitarist threw out a solo that crawled down the fingerboard and the drummer smacked stellar rhythms out of the kit that had us convinced she had a hidden third arm.

The band closed out without Fantastic Negrito, just as they started, but they soon returned to the stage for (what seemed) an unexpected encore. “We’re outta songs” said Fantastic Negrito. “We dedicate this to the girl in the secondhand store who sold us this vest. And the little young kids that came out tonight – that’s incredible.” By then, only one young kid was still around, peering over the stage, but Fantastic Negrito had acknowledged them throughout the night, wagging his finger to remind them not to use the swears he sang out. For the encore they broke out in their most energetic number yet; the drummer no longer tapped her hi-hats but pounded out a driving beat that the audience couldn’t help but clap along to.

Fantastic Negrito stepped off stage and headed straight for the merch table, a cluster of fans already waiting to meet him.

Raise You Up: Fantastic Negrito
  • Wild energy
  • Sick drumming, sweet sliding chords on keys
  • Excellent, funny banter
  • "Outta songs" at the end, but could have done more than a one-song encore
8.8Overall Score

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