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Hip-Hop Legend Common Delivers Nostalgic Energy at Cervantes

Hip-Hop Legend Common Delivers Nostalgic Energy at Cervantes


July 15th, 2019

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Hip-hop and soul fans gathered to the stage for an energetic show in Denver’s old jazz venue, Cervantes. The preceding show for Common was lead by Nicole Bus. Appearing like a young Diana Ross and clad in an understated all-black button down, she allowed for her natural beauty to speak for itself. She delivered a jazzy and passionate set, while her confidence brought her right out to the very edges of the stage, almost inside the crowd. Not shy, she held her own as she belted a few of her soulful lyrics laced over old school inspired tracks.

She beckoned for the crowd’s demand for the next coming show. “Are you ready?!” She then, in a calm, cool, and down-to-earth-act, joined the front row with a backward hat and a heart for the next performance.

Chicago born rapper Common approached the same stage that BB king, Tina Turner, Ray Charles, and James Brown once did. An intimate space in the sense that the stage is very close to the crowd, and the depth of the building does not span far, allowing the folks in the back at the bar to feel like they can reach out for Common’s hand.

To begin, his performance was quite the anticipatory set up of his live band music. Keyboards, strings, and drummer were all in their places while Common entered the stage. He took a seat on a living room chair under a large living room lamp and started a slow methodical rap as if to romance the audience and draw us all into that nostalgic place. The man delivers conviction in every word, line, and verse. Capturing hearts, minds, and senses.

Once his presence filled the entire room, he popped up from his comfortable seat and transitioned straight into the old school vibe that everyone knows and loves him for. “Yes Yes y’all and ya don’t stop….to the beat y’all and ya don’t stop.” The hip-hop heads in the crowd rapped along to each verse of “I used to love her,” (1994 hit off Resurrection’s album) while he conducted the audience to bounce from left to right.

He then brought a female fan onto the stage to serenade her with his lyrical flirtation, showing off this freestyle game. The building was in emotional awe as he went from nostalgia to freestyle swagger, to little taste of his acting with the all dramatic “Testify” from his 2005 Be album. An expert in the sense of how to take the mood from high to low, he romanticized a setting for “Light,” off his Like Water For Chocolate album. Asking the crowd to raise their ‘lighters’ in the air, we all lit up our cells for an incandescent glow, giving ambiance for one of the most hyped-up crowds for “Love of my Life” off the Brown Sugar album.

Common gave every ounce of energy that he had to his Denver crowd. A true legend, nothing was left off the table the, and the show was enthralling beginning to end.

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