Like they did at her debut Coachella performance three years ago, a bunch of people exited stage-left well before Kid Sister finished her set.
In 2007, it was easy to attribute the mass exodus to any number of things -- the lure of other acts, Coachella-goers' traditionally dance over hip-hop preferences, seeking out shade or water or food -- but Saturday night's thinning out at the Echoplex is solely on her shoulders.
Flosstradamus was the night's first act to draw the full attention of the night's less-than-capacity crowd. Autobot and J2K describe themselves as "2 DJs, 4 turntables, and lots of people getting buck on the dancefloor," and throughout flashes of their set, this was true. While the Chicago House that dominated the first chunk of their hour was mostly lost on the Angelenos in attendance, Floss knew how and when to kick it up a notch: Jock Jams for hipsters.
The second chunk of the Chicago duo's DJ'ing stuck primarily to snippets of the lowest common denominator party joints. From "Let Me Clear My Throat" to "Push It", Flosstradamus tore through the end of their set list, much to the booty-shaking-hands-in-the-air-delight of the crowd. And when they mixed DMX's "Ruff Ryders Anthem" with Los Lobos' "Tequila" shit really hit the fan.
But Kid Sister, the literal big sister to Floss' J2K, was the night's headliner. And much like the happy-to-please DJ set her brother churned out, Kid Sister brought the showmanship to her LA appearance. Flanked by two masked and leotarded dancers, the Downtown Records artist jumped out full of energy in sequined pants and a shiny gold hat.
Her set went from the jukin' ("Switch Board") to the hip-hoppin' ("Pro Nails") to the "High School Musical: Rap Edition" ("Life on TV") type fare that's been on her MySpace page since MySpace was last cool. It wasn't for a lack of effort, as Kid Sis certainly gave it her all, but the audience's thinning was un-ignorable. Her voice was obviously strained and understandably so, this being the final night of a six shows in six days run, so her aggressive cadence popped all over a hot microphone like fingernails on a chalkboard.
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It's not like everyone who bothered to show up left the minute she got onstage -- the fervent Kid Sister fans rapped along the entire time in serious bliss -- but the Echoplex's smoking area was just as popping.
After many delays to her debut album, she finally has a release date, even if her brother mistakenly said November 11 instead of November 17 onstage (he did remember her birthday though!). Once called Dream Date, the record was so close to release that a press mailing went out last summer, it was retracted and redacted. After a year being re-recorded, it'll finally re-emerge this fall with many of the same songs and a new title: Ultraviolet.
Maybe it was just a tough night. Maybe people already feel nostalgic about "Pro Nails," her big Kanye-assisted single, rather than newly enthused by it. Maybe the kids just aren't flocking to hip-house the way they used to...but whatever the case, Saturday's performance did little to boost excitement for that long delayed debut album.