[phlipcam video] DJ Premier @ the Paradise

If you need evidence that time heals all wounds, look no further than Saturday's UNITY FEST, arriving a bit more than a year following Guru's tragic passing, and marking the first Boston appearance since his death by Gang Starr brethren DJ PREMIER. Whereas last May's tribute show at the Middle East was understandably bogged down with some weighty connotations (both mourning his death and calling for Solar's head), Saturday felt more like a straight up celebration of the man's life.

Now in it's fifth incarnation, Unity Fest is rarely this focused. The first four years generally found a litany of local unknowns sopping up most of the stage time, leaving the night's headliners crammed into truncated sets at the night's end. This year featured far fewer acts which meant more stage time for those that the crowd was actually there to see. For me, it was 7L and Esoteric, and a bit later, a reunited Special Teamz. Both acts were so on point that I found it hard to believe that Preem would be able to top either.

Well, to make review of an four-hour concert a bit shorter, he did. As you can tell from his pronouncement in the above video, his set did get cut a bit short due to time constraints -- unfortunate -- but he was able to make the most of it, paying tribute to Biggie, Big L, and of course, Guru.

In my write-up following Reks' album release party in March, I marveled at the sheer volume of reverence paid by Boston cats at every possible opportunity and Premier followed right in line with this adoration of legends past, made all the more impressive by the fact that the man dropping the needle played the role of architect in shaping their lore. The greatest hip-hop producer of all-time (yeah, I said it) made a case for being the greatest hip-hop DJ of all-time simply by dropping his classics, inducing RIP chants, and inviting unannounced guest Big Shug to take the stage for the show's final 10 minutes.

Above is a phlipcam of Preem taking the stage, and below is the still-excellent Boston anthem with the assist going to Singapore Kane and Termanology. What a wonderful place to live.

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