Having had a day or so to decompress, I can now say that Wednesday night’s KRFH student radio benefit at Big Pete’s Pizza was a mixed success, with over 100 people in attendance for the four-group electronic/hip hop show featuring thelittlestillnotbigenough , (n1nth)cloud , DJ Egadz , and Restiform Bodies of premier Bay Area hip hop label Anticon Records.
As 10 p.m. rolled around, eager students had solidly outnumbered lingering customers intent on seeing through the basketball game raging on three of four big screen TVs. After a victory for the team wearing yellow jerseys spurred an exodus of those uninterested in the evolving purpose of Big Pete’s, the space quickly transformed from pizza/beer/sports lounge to pizza/beer/student venue as local openers thelittlestillnotbigenough struck the first chords.
At first all was chaos. With a line out the door and near no room to breathe inside, it seemed impossible that another person could be allowed to enter, but anything is possible and enter they did. As drinks flowed from taps, down shirts and all over the floor, the desperate cries of pizza orders could barely be heard as employees fought to trump the thumping, multi-instrumental experimental set raging on stage that would set the standard for the remainder of the night.
After a 20 minute set came a 30 minute break, and it was 11 p.m. when the second act took the stage. Hailing from Las Vegas, the (n1nth)cloud trio were off to a bumpy start, greeting the audience as “Arcadia” and running afoul of technical difficulties only moments after the first track was launched, though profuse apologies and their near-electric enthusiasm quickly reclaimed the audience’s respect. Playing the first set of their slated month-long tour, their act concluded at a quarter to midnight, promising the highly-anticipated set by DJ Egadz in a timely manner.
With a preceding reputation as a polished battle DJ and turntablist, DJ Egadz was the doubtless leader of the night, as he prepared his midnight set amongst a careful mess of keyboards, mixers and wires with an MPC Beat Machine at its center. As the beats began, the crowd pressed in to get a closer look at the subtle expertise with which Egadz produced a captivating mix of melody and bass from a dizzying collection of buttons, keys and knobs. It looked a lot like this: DJ Egadz MPC Beat Video .
With Egadz driving the crowd until nearly 1 a.m., it seemed impossible that still another act was yet to come or that they could possibly measure up to what had come before them; they didn’t. Taking the stage at 1:15 a.m., nearly four hours after many had arrived and since left, Restiform Bodies struck up an overly-aggressive set to a severely diminished audience who could barely be encouraged to pump their fists, call back or really even dance. I myself had taken a seat at the back, idly pursuing the dregs of merchandise rather than slam around the beer-sloshed floor with the sleepy and bedraggled few that remained. Wrapping up around 2 a.m. Thursday morning, the stragglers were forced elsewhere as sleepy employees wielded the mops and trash cans of their custodial arts, returning a beer-soaked room to its proper purpose as a peaceful pizza parlor.
All in all, the station earned $70 after expenses, enough to buy either 1/2 of a new CD deck or 1/3 of a new studio microphone, and is approximately $20 less than was earned at the KRFH annual bake sale this semester. A good story, for sure, but a success? Of course.