ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Oct. 9, 2009
Mos DefOct. 3, Zilker Park
"I'm trying to play it cool 'cause I'm a little nervous." Funny to hear that from someone as cool, calm, and collected as mighty Mos Def. The Brooklyn native had already stripped a suspender and knocked out a percussion set teasing The Ecstatic's opener "Supermagic" by the time his admission flipped the switch on the finest display of hip-hop Zilker Park would see all weekend. Fronting a Casey Benjamin-featured band and two DJs, Mos scat rapped on-the-spot jams and set old ones ("Ms. Fat Booty," Bobby Brown's "Roni") to new music, proving affable as ever despite hitting the stage more than 20 minutes past showtime. Still, the "Modern Marvel" was in no rush, teasing "Life in Marvelous Times" into a stunning take on Radiohead's "All I Need" before shifting back to his drum kit for "Revelations" and a durrty rendition of "Pretty Dancer" over J-Dilla's "E=MC2." With the rain picking up, Benjamin's crew launched into De La Soul's "Stakes Is High" and Mos broke down alongside Austin's B-Boy City crew, a sight to see for anybody who can appreciate Mos Def's love of the old school. So much for nerves.