Sage Francis Transcends Genres At House of Blues

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The only unpleasantness came around halfway through the set, when a guy in a backwards Houston Texans cap who had been screaming for the same song all night finally got to Sage; the rapper snapped, aborted the intro to the next song, stalked over to the offending heckler, and got right in his face, shouting "You're drunk! Shut the fuck up! I was about to do that song, but now I will never play that song again, you understand me? Just shut the fuck up. Last time I was in Houston, I punched somebody out, and I really don't want to repeat that."

The crowd seemed to come down on Sage's side, and while it was an uncomfortable moment, it passed quickly as Sage launched into his next song, after which he admitted that he really did like Houston, and almost apologetically explained that since he's with a live band who have only had time to learn a certain number of songs, his set list for this tour tends to be very limited. Hell, it made sense to most of us. Even the guy in the Texans hat finally shut the fuck up.

Both Sage and B. Dolan plugged their corporate watchdog website, both bragged about having chased a Capital One booth out of the facility earlier, and both mentioned that Sarah Palin will be our next president in 2012, drawing jeers from the crowd. Sage's set in particular seemed to keep the audience on edge, with Sage alternately venturing into the audience to amiably mingle and venting the occasional frustration onstage. The agreeably contentious vibe served to keep the crowd on its toes, and added to the "what's gonna happen next?" feel of his set.

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The build-up of tension followed by its release in hilarious moments like his suddenly belting out the chorus to Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings" could have been a tutorial for how to keep the audience paying attention.

After the show, Sage didn't return to the stage for an encore; however, he did hang out, pose for pictures, and talk to anyone who wanted to talk to him for a good long bit, while B. Dolan helped run the merch booth. We're still not sure if it was a rock show or a hip-hop show we saw last night, but we're content to never know, as long as Sage continues to offer such enthralling and energizing performances.

Set List:

  • Three Sheets to the Wind
  • Sea Lion
  • Specialist
  • Slow Man
  • Polterzeitgeist
  • Worry Not
  • Hell of a Year
  • I Was Zero
  • London Bridge
  • Broken Wings
  • Love the Lie
  • The Best of Times
  • Little Houdini

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