"The Dirty Heads" Review by Shawn Hallman
The Dirty Heads
"April 28, 2011 @Red 7 in Austin TX"
After being shut down by the local police department their last time around, The Dirty Heads returned to Austin for a Thursday night at Red 7 for an amazing full-length live set. The Dirty Heads played their hits, classics, and even some new songs while keeping everyone happy and entertained during their high-energy performance.
As soon as The Dirty Heads took stage following a nice performance by rock power-trio New Politics, the entire crowd moved as close to the stage as possible; all regard for personal space was lost. By the time the first beat of familiar opener “Neighborhood” played the room had filled with cheers and dancing. Dirty J’s vocals were accompanied by the entire crowd as everyone sang along throughout most of the show. From the first note to last, it was clear from the opening song that The Dirty Heads had the crowd hypnotized by their flawless combination of hip hop and reggae.
The Dirty Heads are just as good, if not better, live as they are on a mixed and mastered studio release and they prove just that with their live renditions of such songs as “Everything I’m Looking For”, “Hip Hop Misfits”, and two of my favorites “Insomnia”, and “Ring the Alarm”. Each song The Dirty Heads played was complimented by the wonderful percussion's of Jon Olazabal and the wonderful vocals of Duddy B and Dirty J. The band’s chemistry is noticeable to all the fans and it is that chemistry that makes them such a joy to watch. The Dirty Heads don’t have to hide behind blazing fast guitar solos or any gimmicks to get an audience moving; instead they simply work off of each other to piece together a wonderful live performance.
The middle of their set was just as memorable as the opening and their “encore”. After leaving out a verse in one of their songs, Dirty J brought up a complaining fan to rap the verse himself. The bearded white boy who went by the name Brett Speed took the microphone and managed to get the crowd going and remember all the words, as long as he make some up himself. While I was personally expecting a train wreck, I have to give credit to Mr. Speed for helping out with a memorable night. The Dirty Heads also treated everyone who came out to some brand new songs. While I believe a new Dirty Heads album is long overdue following the 2008 release of Any Port in a Storm, it was refreshing to hear something new and these new songs gave fans even more of a reason to be excited for this up-and-coming band.
After only a little over an hour, The Dirty Heads began to wind down their set. At this time Dirty J told the crowd that they weren’t going to leave the stage for an encore, they were just going to give it to us. Two songs later, the concert had come to an end. Although the set did feel rather short for a headlining band, they gave the crowd everything they could have asked for with incredible live renditions of their work. They even made sure to play their hits “Stand Tall” and “Lay Me Down”. The Dirty Heads reminded everyone at Red 7 that night just how much fun seeing a live show can be.
Article written by Shawn Hallman