Doomtree’s set this past summer at Kanrocksas was a personal favorite at the festival, so when Cicero’s opened their doors this past weekend for the Good Time Zoo Tour (f. emcees Sims and Cecil Otter, producers Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger) I made sure to drop by and check out the show.
Local rap trio Robb Steele had the pleasure of opening this evening, with their upbeat and old school raps channeling the Beastie Boys / Run-DMC vibe and loosening up the room for the other acts.
The first of the Doomtree acts to take the stage, Cecil Otter (backed by Paper Tiger) stood on the raised stage front, laying out his verses like an orator to the crowd below. Breezy samples like Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks” got matched against vintage records sounding out of a spaghetti western, but the constant was Cecil’s serious and sinister delivery that felt compelling and engaging. Oh and you know about that Wugazi mash-up album? Apparently he’s part of the team behind that.
Next up, Lazerbeak furiously poked at his drum machine like a stenographer on speed that refuses to use the QWERTY method, showcasing the beats that have the other emcees coming back for collaboration. It was a short solo set before Sims was summoned to the stage, but a good quick look at his beat construction.
The elephant in the room was that you probably could have fit two elephants in the room that night with the sparse crowd. Sims’ unaudited count was 22, later sharing a story from his earlier years about seeing a hip-hop artist who took out low attendance frustrations on the crowd itself. Sims took the opportunity to do the opposite, constantly thanking those present and working to turn his set into one that each attendant felt lucky to be a part of. After a few songs, the emcee abandoned the stage and asked the crowd to circle up, spending most of the night performing in the center. For that next hour, Sims (with Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak still doing their thing on stage) killed it. Towards the end, many assurances were made that the crew would be back soon enough. Let’s hope so. You missed them this time, don’t make that same mistake again.
-While looking up their twitter handles, I stumbled across their love for Monopoly for the iPad in passing the time on tour. Once tired of that, could I suggest Ticket to Ride?
-Picked up a copy of Bad Time Zoo and got it signed by Sims and Lazerbeak. Is getting vinyl signed becoming my new thing?