Soul'd Out Live Nihon Budokan

SOUL’d Out is a Hip-Hop group whose primary members are Diggy-MO’ (MC), Bro.Hi (Human Beat Box) & Shinnosuke (Trackmaster). Rounding out the group are supporting members DJ Mass, Shunsuke Suzuki (Guitar), Mitsutaka Saito (Bass), Armin Takeshi Linzbichler (Drums) & JUNKOO (Piano).  Much like the title says, this concert is made up of their single releases.

I dig SOUL’d Out’s vibe. They have an interesting approach to Hip-Hop that’s unique & refreshing. It’s the total opposite of the cookie cutter garbage Hip-Hop that I’m subjected to on a daily basis on TV & the radio.  I first became aware of them through their collaboration with Heartsdales (Candy Pop) & then again with Diggy-MO’s pairing with m-flo & Emyli (Dopamine).

I ended up picking up all their studio albums (except the remix ones) afterwards. Strangely enough, I didn’t get around to watching one of their concerts until now. This was the first show of theirs that I’ve seen & I’m impressed. They have great stage presence when they perform, but when they do the little MC bits with the audience? Not so great, kind of lackluster really. That’s what the skip button on the remote is for right? The show is some top notch stuff with the exception of that one minor thing. Anyway, on to my observations.

– Diggy-MO’ is one tall dude, or at least it appeared that way. He towered over Bro.Hi, not sure about the other band members. Sometimes I didn’t really understand what he was saying. I think there were times he was mumbling his lines a bit. Excusable since he was putting a lot of energy into his performances (especially during Starlight Destiny), so fatigue could have been a factor.

– Bro.Hi’s Human Beat Box section about halfway through the first disc was very cool. It’s amazing what one can do with their vocal chords. I think if I tried beat boxing I would end up sound like I was about cough up a lung. Props to Bro.Hi for putting on an amazing vocal display.

– SOUL’d Out’s music translates well to a live band setting. In some cases the songs sounded better than the recorded versions. Some I didn’t really like (such as Iruka & Voodoo Kingdom) until I heard them again in a different context during this show.

– Speaking of the band, what an incredible group of musicians. I kept thinking of The Roots when watching them play. I liked the little jam session they had going during the band intro before starting Shuffle Dayz.

Again, great show, highly recommended.