$18 – $20

Lyrics Born + Con Brio

Bonfire Presents
21+

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MilkBoy

1100 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

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Con Brio plays energetic soul, psych-rock and R&B. Lyrics Born is a rapper and producer. He is one half of the duo Latyrx.

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Lyrics Born relocated to the United States from his birthplace of Toyko, Japan right around the time Hip Hop was exploding on the East Coast.

From the moment he heard Sugar Hill Gang’s 1980 classic “Rapper’s Delight,” the Bay Area Hip Hop luminary knew he’d found his calling.

Twenty-five years later, LB has obliterated the stereotypes of what an MC is “supposed to” look like and captured the hearts of countless fans who gravitate to his distinctive voice. He’s now the only Asian-American MC to release 10 studios albums and the first to play major music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza.

From his Quannum Recordings debut with Latyrx,1997’s The Album, to 2003’s seminal solo album Later That Day, he’s consistently pushed the boundaries of his craft. His newest project, Quite A Life, is like the exclamation point on his milestone year.

“Ten albums is a lot for any artist, let alone an indie artist who colored outside the lines, so to speak,” LB says. “I'm just appreciative there was always somehow a path for me, no matter how impossible it seemed — either on paper or in practice.”

As the first Asian-American to release a greatest hits compilation, he’s pumped out multiple smash singles across four official studio albums. From “Stop Complaining” to “Callin’ Out” and “I Like It, I Love It” and “I Changed My Mind,” his material has always retained a musically eclectic feel.

The self-proclaimed “funkiest rapper alive” carries on his tradition of weaving funk and soul into classic, boom-bap Hip Hop on Quite A Life. Without the influence of icons like James Brown, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Zapp and Rogers, LB admits he wouldn’t be who he is today.

Coupled with his love of rap pioneers such as KRS-One, Rakim and Snoop Dogg, LB’s music is the perfect Hip Hop and funk-flavored gumbo.

For live shows, LB often recruits a full band to “keep it all the way funky” for his audience. Coupled with wife/singer Joyo Velarde’s powerful voice, the unrelenting energy of his performances electrify every crowd.

Since establishing himself among the upper echelon of indie Hip Hop artists, LB has expanded his empire into film. This year, he has roles in Boots Riley’s critically acclaimed film Sorry To Bother You and the Netflix movie Always Be My Maybe starring comedian Ali Wong and Keanu Reeves.

“I'm funny, or so I’m told [laughs],” LB says.“I absolutely love comedy and being ridiculous. These past couple films have been an incredible experience. I'm especially proud to be a part of films that challenge norms and it doesn't hurt to work with your friends either.

“I really love comedic acting. As an artist, it's like another color on my palette. I will be doing more advocating for the underserved in the arts as well, particular for Asian Americans and other people of color. The world needs the same diversity in the arts as we do in real life.”

As LB continues the next chapter, he jokes that he’s become that “old stubborn Japanese man” who says what he wants and he’s not planning on going anywhere. In fact, his goal over the next 25 years is to make another 10 albums and more films. Most notably, he wants to continue providing a platform for other Asian-Americans, a slice of the population that is consistently underrepresented in pop culture.

When he looks back on the last 25 years, he has nothing but gratitude for his position in the Hip Hop space and life in general.

“I'm just blessed and grateful to be alive and pursuing my passion after 25 years,” LB says. “That’s mind-blowing for me when I really think about it. All the obstacles I've faced and accolades I've received, I can only be thankful.”

Named for an Italian musical direction meaning with spirit, Con Brio is a San Francisco Bay Area seven-piece that plays energetic soul, psych-rock and R&B that’s as fresh and freethinking as the place they call home. With charismatic singer Ziek McCarter bringing “the dance moves, splits and all, of James Brown” (KQED) and a tight, veteran band that “comes across like a party punk version of Sly and the Family Stone” (Consequence of Sound), Con Brio is known to convert anyone who sees their electric live show.

The band’s sophomore LP, Explorer (out July 6th, 2018 on Transistor), represents an impressive leap for the group PopMatters has called “the best new live band in America.” The album is a travelogue of sorts, written over the course of two years and one presidential election — all while the band was touring the globe (Japan, France, Australia, the Netherlands) and fielding questions about our leaders, our choices, our guns.

While Paradise spoke about inequality and the Black Lives Matter movement, turning a mirror on America in 2016, Explorer looks outward, urging hope in the face of cynicism, but ultimately presenting more questions than answers: What does it mean to represent America abroad during a time of unprecedented volatility at home?

Having proved themselves on an international stage (as well as at U.S. festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands and Austin City Limits), Con Brio also breaks new sonic ground on Explorer, expanding beyond raw energy and retro sounds toward a layered, contemporary production style. It’s a big record, with plenty of joy and more than a few growing pains. It sounds, unsurprisingly, like a band on the verge.

“No one can say what’s going to happen next week, let alone next year,” says McCarter. “But we can keep doing what we do. Head out there with our eyes open. And try to create moments of love, of liberation, everywhere we go.”

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MilkBoy

1100 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

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