Reviewed by Robert Gabriel, Fri., Feb. 3, 2006
Antone's, Jan. 29
Making the trip from Houston on a Harley Davidson, Scarface arrived at Antone's Sunday night prepared to rock. Recording a live DVD with his 10-piece Formaldehyde Funk Band, the former Geto Boy commanded the stage like George Clinton steering the mothership into a black hole. Strumming a mean guitar is only one new trick up Face's sleeve; the legendary rapper also played drums and keyboard with an impressive amount of precision. Matching original tracks to a T, classics such as "Never Seen a Man Cry" and "Fuck Faces" fleshed out like psychedelic jams. As "Let Me Roll" rested gingerly atop a makeshift P-Funk launchpad, saucy backup singers and all, the sophisti-funk of synth-laden numbers such as "Smile" showcased the versatility of a band that tightened up as the evening progressed well beyond 2am. When the raucous unit finally traversed the Isaac Hayes swing of "My Mind's Playing Tricks on Me," Scarface followed up his own verse by delivering Bushwick Bill's with quirky accent and crouched perspective intact. If there was one thing for certain during the performance, it was that Face thoroughly enjoys the role of bandleader. A year removed from hinting at retirement, the Godfather of Texas rap reveled in bringing old-school music back for youthful generations who in many cases have known nothing but computerized fabrications.