"Onstage uncoolness" would be the best way to describe energetic throw-down by The Cool Kids this past Saturday at the Wrongbar. That's because Mikey Rocks (pictured) and Chuck Inglish - the two live wire Chicago MCs who call themselves Cool - are basically a pair of enthusiastic nerds.
Before they hopped on stage, the self-anointed "black version of the Beastie Boys" had all the fine points of cool down: too cool to sell merchandise to a capacity cool crowd (couldn't fit one more cool person in the door!) at the coolest bar in Toronto. They also got the cool BMX-boosting single (Black Mags) and dress like Spike Lee in Do The Right Thing.
And then they were way late, which I don't have to mention is another hallmark of cool.
Once on the mic, though, the Kids became the two most visibly excited people in the bar.
Chuck, who often takes a backseat to his rhyming partner, rapped as if his pants were on fire. Mikey, with enough charisma to fill two pairs of skinny jeans (anyone calling himself cool of course rocks the skinny jeans), was hyper-engaging - crowd surfing, posing for photos, and allowing at least 20 people to crowd the stage, among other hijinx. All that buzzing around in turn benefited the songs - which, on record, can sound a bit rudimentary.
Overall, the unabashed eagerness to perform, albeit uncool, amounted to an impressive, lively set. Perhaps even the hottest show this month/year. (Does that mean hot is the opposite of cool? In this case, the theorem checks out.)