Whether you got soaked by rain watching human crack in the flesh at East River Park, or soaked by human condensation in the air of a completely sold-out, ultrahumid Knitting Factory, the weekend's two Kano-related shows were some really fucking live ones. Even if you weren't there, don't sweat it - we brought a camera.
Turnout for Saturday's daytime set was on the thin side - the steady rain didn't help AT ALL - but everyone who stuck with it got treated to a great show. Roll Deep (fresh off a Friday night gig with our boys Ayres and A-Trak that was by all accounts triumphant) kicked things off with jams from In At The Deep End, then the Heat crew spun garage favorites.
As the afternoon stretched into evening with nary a Dipset eagle in sight, UK emcee Chosan did his best to keep it moving with constant, overenthusiastic shouts to "the LES!" and various other locales, which - especially when delivered in Chosan's distinctive cross-Atlantic accent - couldn't help but charm through the downpour. Fortunately, he didn't have to calm the restless for too long - once the lot-fresh red SSR pulled up, it was ON.
As his DJ looped the chanted intro to "Santana's Town", Juelz got on stage and the teenaged audience (and not-so teenaged audience - Hisham, we see you!) lost their shit. Santana Bandana Blam Hammers ran through a handful of new and old singles, taught the crowd his "Whistle Song" dance, then jetted after a particularly focused 20 minutes or so.
Unfortunately, the crowd left with him, swarming Juelz on his way back to the Chevy and leaving an almost-empty park for BBC1's Cameo and a Biggie-shirted Kano. Undeterred, they still rocked it with underground-heavy selections (broadcast live on the radio), and Kano's sidekick Ghetto stole the show with his absurdly fast flow. Seriously - that's the only shot of him that isn't a complete blur.
Later that night at the Knit, attendance wasn't even an issue - the place was packed, just like it's been for all KF's other high profile import gigs.
While his homie System D-128 scratched visuals on a DVD-J, Diplo dropped everything from the Fugees to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony-sampling grime 12"s in his opening set. But the highlight of the Dinosaur's selections had to be his exclusive, self-produced "New Order Riddim" dubplates that chopped the rapid-fire "Blue Monday" drum intro into a dancehall pattern. Absolutely insane.
However, the club belonged to Kane Robinson, and he took the stage around 1am to rapturous crowd response. Grime genius Wiley watched from the side of the stage (and ate stack after stack of Chips Ahoy) as Kano - once again backed by Demon and DJ Bionix - ran through his early singles, Home Sweet Home tracks, and even freestyled over Jay-Z's "Dear Summer" and a Rossi B and Luca-produced track that grimed-up "Welcome To Jamrock" something fierce. By the time Young Kano got to the bouncing, Diplo-produced "Reload", the Knitting Factory's front row was completely airborne, and Dip ran out front to join them.
Kano's confident flow - and the devastating way he OWNED that stage - made for an incredible show, but we couldn't help but scratch our heads throughout: US RECORD LABELS, WHY ISN'T DUDE'S RECORD OUT YET?! KANO IS REALLY REALLY GOOD. That sounds like a simplistic thing to say, but Home is still relegated to Amazon.co.uk status, y'know? "We're not saying, we're just saying."