By Graeme Wiggins
Fortune Sound Club
March 27th 2018
VANCOUVER – You can probably tell from their name, but Epic Beard Men was not your typical hip-hop show of 2018. There was no DJ, just a laptop they would start and stop tracks from (this is old hat for Sage Francis who used to tour with his CD Walkman, DJ No Spin Zone). Two middle aged, bald, bearded men in star trek uniforms took the stage with no ceremony and you would be forgiven if you thought, had you not known better, that this was going to be terrible. But these two veteran MCs showed why they continue to draw crowds and win people over.
Delivering a set derived mostly of new material off of their latest EP, Season 1 they showcased both of the MCs’ distinct rap styles (Sage veers a little more poetic in style, while Dolan spits hard) and their clear chemistry. They were equal parts funny, political, and theatrical. They dance and mugged and really looked like they were having a good time, even on a Tuesday night. Highlights included “DIYMFS” and “Shotgun Golf.” They even had a crowd member on stage for Dolan to give a freestyle psychic reading to them, while Sage beatboxed. It was silly but charming.
If you came to the show expecting see much solo material from either member you might have been a touch disappointed as this was mostly collaborative tour. They played a few of their more well-known solo tracks, however, notably Dolan’s “Which Side Are You On” a paean to the labour movement and Sage’s “hit,” “Sealions” and they ended the set with an older Sage song “Damage” which they interpolated with the “Ante Up” beat.