De La Soul

For 20 years, De La Soul have made pop music funkier, hip hop more humane, and the interplay between funk and humanity more mysterious and personal—like a secret club for the whole world. They've also rocked a show or five, and keep surpassing themselves at First Avenue: This priced-to-sell-out gig features a 10-piece live backing band behind the two rappers and DJ, Los Angeles's Rhythm Roots All-Stars, who promise a percussive take on an unstoppable canon. De La have yet to release an album not worth owning, right up through this year's Nike-sponsored running mix on iTunes, Are You In?—a fresh version of rap-rock-techno in 45 bracing minutes, with production by Detroit's Young RJ and Chicago duo Flosstradamus (the latter mixing the results into a single continuous track). Posdnuos, Dave, and Maseo remain a clubhouse you can laugh and grow old in; take the running mix to heart, and you might grow older with them. With Kenan Bell. 18+. (photo by richt/tlobf)
Thu., Aug. 27, 6 p.m., 2009

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