On Friday, Jan. 6 at 9 p.m. in WLFM, hip-hop artist, poet and Wisconsin native Safari Al visited Lawrence for a short showcase of his recent work as an artist residing in Milwaukee. This showcase was part of Al’s Silt Rifle Promo Tour—a short two-week tour of the Midwest in promotion of his recently released zine Silt Rifle. This zine showcased Safari Al’s poetry, art, printmaking and production knowledge and wrapped it together into a physical zine with an accompanying tape of instrumentals sold as a set. This set was sold exclusively to his supporters on Patreon, a website where individuals can support their favorite artists with a monthly donation, usually being able to receive something back in appreciation for their monthly gift.
The show began with a performance from one of Lawrence’s newest upcoming bands—the duo Cyberspliff—the collaborative partnership between sophomores Annie Connolly and Lilly Donlon. Their act comprises songs—a mixture of originals and covers—sang into microphones while running the vocal samples through a series of guitar pedals. This effect on the voice is thoughtful and entertaining. At this show, Cyberspliff performed only one song—their excellent rendition of the ‘70s hit Needles & Pins by The Searchers. The next set was a solo acoustic set by veteran Lawrence band member and senior Ridley Tankersley, formerly of Wild Firth and Sk8 City High School All-Star Jazz Band. In his solo act, Ridley performedw a mixture of pop-punk inspired vignettes composed throughout his college years.
After Tankersley, Safari Al took the stage for a short half-hour set of his newest work—his Silt Rifle zine. Al performed several poems from the zine while delivering the lines over the smooth, sample-heavy production from his instrumental tape. Safari Al’s delivery was fantastic—a mixture of rapping and talking that played the space incredibly well. Safari Al’s set was soon over, and the small, intimate space filled with applause as he finished his last piece.
Safari Al played a tremendous show with lots of help from Cyberspliff and Ridley as his openers. Overall, this quiet, intimate WLFM concert was the perfect start to the term on a cold Friday night.