by Dan Emmons
Friday night at the Hard Rock Café in Philadelphia played host to the “Who Do You Love… More?” show presented by Chill Moody. Aptly named after the project put together by Chill, Beano and Hank McCoy for this show, the whole event had the theme of red carpets and roses.
Opening the show was rising hip pop act CJ & Evan who brought their energetic set of rhymes, party bars, and catchy choruses to the stage. The beginning of their set brought the faithful forward to the stage and with the help of DJ Ricochet on the 1s and 2s, CJ & Evan got the crowd ready for what was one memorable night.
Next up was Jacqueline Constance who brought the full band, back up singers and soul to the stage. By this time I was fighting my way to get a drink at the bar which had to have reached capacity in the sold out crowd. By the time I got my beer Jacqueline and her band broke into a beautiful array of Lauryn Hill songs that had everyone on their feet. With a mixture of covers and loop pedals she brought on stage to build the tracks, I was a little upset when her set ended and wanting a bit more. But, next up was Kid Felix ready to hit the audience with something they surely were not expecting.
Kid Felix took the stage with their Incubus/Johnny Craig-esque rock and roll that, although a little out of character for the bill, was accepted with rounds of applause and the ladies pushing forward to the front row. Jake Falana’s vocal prowess won over many of the R&B/Soul audience members that were new to the band. With wailing choruses and dramatic stage presence, Kid Felix grabbed the attention of some very notable people as well as some new female fans.
By the time KId Felix was done, the crowd began getting restless. DJ Ricochet kept things moving, but with the packed room, this writer stepped out for a moment to catch some air. At that moment I caught Chill and Beano discussing their entrance as they snuck in the front of Hard Rock toting full suits and roses in their hands. Taking the stage with a full band performing the tracks originally created by the combo of Hank McCoy, Beano and Chill for the WDYLM album available on iTunes, the show began. With Chill and Beano playing off each other on stage like they had been performing this record for years, they took the band and the record to a whole new level. I cannot explain how talented the backing band was, which included dueling keyboards, a drummer, and guitarist. They played the re-imagination of the album, a few Chill Moody singles and even dropped into “Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe which sold me, as if I wasn’t already.
It is beginning to look like Mr. Chill Moody is the holder of the Hip Hop crown in Philadelphia more and more. He had two sold out shows (Trocadero) in less than a month, dropped EPs specifically for shows and recruited his own staff of talented artists to give them the opportunity they deserve. Whether you like his music or not, you cannot deny that this guy does it BIG and tries to give everyone deserving a chance to share in his celebrity. So…who do you love…more?