When pintsized K. Flay walked on stage on December 3 at the Met, in red high top sneakers and a baggy George Thorogood t-shirt, I didn't imagine that her performance would come equipped with such power and swag. But it did. She began her set by banging loudly on a floor tom, reminding me instantly of Merill Garbus of the tUnE-yArDs. She was accompanied by a drummer whose rhythmic kit pummeling further amplified the funk brought forth by K. Flay’s mastering of both spoken word - shorty can rap - and electronic synth.
Headliner Grieves and Budo kept the crowd engaged with their energy and emotionally charged rhymes. Grieves reminded me instantly of Atmosphere, and I soon realized why: he’s also signed onto Rhymesayers Entertainment, an independent hip-hop record label. Budo was reminiscent of Li'l John, interjecting from the shadows, where he also took things up quite a few notches by whaling out on his trumpet, keyboard and bass guitar. The two were very fun to watch; check them out the next time they roll through town.