|All photos by Chris Powers|
Durham’s own Professor Toon and The Real Law shared the stage as the opener for De La Soul. The duo’s no-frills show was the perfect intro to the night, much more appropriate than the Love Language/No Age combo that led into Public Enemy back at 2010’s Hopscotch.
Toon and The Real Laww are thoughtful and quirky while still producing a beat that can start a party. Combine that with their affection for their home town and they’re one of the most enjoyable local hip hop acts.
The weeknight show did not prevent fans from coming out. When De La Soul took the stage, it appeared to be one of the best attended main stage shows since The Flaming Lips in 2011. The energy level of the crowd was also better than most main stage shows, but the group worked constantly to keep the crowd involved. Trugoy and Posdnuos pitted halves of the crowd against each other in several call and responses and Raleigh obliged with appropriate volume.
The trio stuck mainly to the hits like “Me, Myself, and I” and reminded fans that this was their 25th anniversary frequently; however, this didn’t feel like a group that was hanging on just to suck every last drop out of fame. They were having a good time and didn’t alienate younger fans. They made an effort to reach out to young people in the audience and let them know how much De La Soul appreciated new fans.