PHOTOGRAPHY: TOKI WRIGHT & CHAMPAGNE CHAMPAGNE AT L’INTERNATIONAL (PARIS)
Toki Wright (Minneapolis, MN) and Champagne Champagne (Seattle, WA)
November 9th, 2012
L’International in Paris, France
I’m back in Paris once again, and while many people instantly scatter and scramble towards Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower, or to the Seine to breathe in the touristic quartiers…I unpacked, bought a toaster, and met up with Midwesterners to celebrate Rhymesayers‘ Toki Wright’s first concert in Paris. (Pour ceux qui ne connait pas encore Rhymesayers, c’est l’un des plus grands labels indépendents du hip-hop aux Etats-Unis.) L’International picked up halfway through his set, filling in and giving Toki and his guest French DJ a warm welcome. DJ Bronski of Phases Cachées helped out the Minnesotan, doing an impressive job that made me instantly think Bronski could fit in in Twin Cities’ The Record Room without hesitation.
I missed Seattle’s Champagne Champagne while they were out on Warped Tour (unlike Siverson & Priebe). Needless to say, rap rock electro combined with the drummer, Mark Gajadhar of post-hardcore perfection that was The Blood Brothers, did not disappoint even if the quirky sound system did for the group. Pearl Dragon managed to hold back the frustration, apologizing for the mic cutting out (which I didn’t catch at least in the crowd, so hopefully it didn’t), and powered through one of the most eclectic energetic sets I’ve seen in a long while. They powered through Private Party, thrilling the Parisians and the local 206ers in the crowd. Concerts like theirs are a relief, tossing needed spontaneity in what can seem routine. Their recordings don’t give their live show justice, which is all the more reason I’ll be catching them again next time they’re in the area.