K’NAAN. The Mod Club on Tuesday (Feb. 24). Rating: NNNNN
The swollen line-up that stretched down the block from the front of Mod Club to the video store next door was proof positive that K'Naan is no longer the underappreciated dusty foot philosopher he was a few years ago.
From travelling the world with MTV's 4Real creator Sol Guy and his stunningly sharp 5 piece ensemble, K'Naan's music has officially come of age.
Troubadour, his sophomore album, might be his make-or-break point for critics, but not to this audience. For them, K'Naan not only delivered but generously gave two extra songs to his second hometown, as they refused to depart after two encores.
He blended Ethopian jazz of the 60's with modern hip hop. He played songs like the feel-good Dreamer (with its cute little animated video playing over head), the compelling T.I.A. (This Is Africa), the chant-along People Like Me and the show opener ABCs.
K'Naan's soothing vocal demeanor and amiable stage presence endeared him even more when playfully chastising an overzealous woman for wolf-whistling her enthusiastic support a little too much ("that's a nice whistle... now I hope I never hear it again"). At some points, he seemed like he could do no wrong.