By Gabriel Klein
Fortune Sound Club
May 7th, 2018
The early Monday night show turned out to be a great mix of humour, introspective soulfulness, and high energy bass driven bangers, provided courtesy of Pivot Gang frontman Saba, and frequent collaborators Joseph Chilliams and Jean Deaux. If you’re certified old head you would be especially pleased with the way the vibe at the show matched the music, jovial and relaxed, with much less aggressive posturing that has been conditioned to be accepted as normal over the years of seeing rap acts perform.
Joseph Chilliam definitely set the tone for this atmosphere, with his effortlessly humorous stage presence, oddball lyrics and campy dancing contrasting against the booming trap beat backdrop. Even if you’re not usually not a fan of extended MC banter in between songs, it was hard not love Chilliam’s because it was almost like getting a great stand up show/rap performance 2 for 1.
Chilliam cut a charismatic figure on stage, but when Saba came on the crowd really started to come alive. Up on stage with him were the two producers of his latest album Care for Me, both armed with synthesisers. Together they crafted the musical backdrop for Saba, the music swinging back and forth between a jazzy soulful sound, and harder trap influenced beats. Similarly, Saba proved to be very adept at switching between vocal styles, equally comfortable spitting double time triplet flows, and more traditional rap cadences, as well as adding in some autotune assisted crooning. The time between songs was used to tell quick stories about song inspirations, like past bullying, and the death of former group member John Walt, or to hype up the crowd, which he was able to accomplish with ease. The night ended with a bombastic performance of ‘LIFE’ that had the whole crowd jumping. Everyone in Fortune left convinced that Saba and his gang is destined for greater success.