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MUSIC REVIEW (Live)
Not By Choice, Kazzer, Live On Release
Live @ Babylon Club, Ottawa Canada

Kazzer's Site

Date: Saturday May 10, 2003


Babylon Club, a former strip club nestled on Ottawa's active yet grimy Bank Street strip, has long been the home of interesting music, both live and DJ-generated. Thanks to the efforts of local promoters Erik Hoffman and Kelly Wren of PRS Concerts.

Openers Live On Release warmed up the crowd with their gritty girl-rock. Although marred by poor sound (hello? vocals?) the crowd merrily filled in the choruses on "I'm Afraid of Britney Spears" and "Emotional Griptape".

Kazzer, a.k.a. Mark Kasprzyk, came on next and blew away the crowd with his polished blend of hip-hop and rock. Kazzer wowed the crowd with his rhymes, singing and scruffy Tom Cruise looks, well-complemented by some excellent guitar work, vocals and turntable work from his backing band. Proving that he has a solid repertoire, his lesser-known songs were accepted just as heartily as his radio-friendly hit "Pedal to the Metal". For the last song Kazzer cleared the dance floor for an amazing show of breakdancing acrobatics, facing off against another breakdancer in a mock street-fight. Judging by the number of kids who left after Kazzer's set, perhaps he should have been the headliner.

Not By Choice, ostensibly the headliners, had a tough act to follow in Kazzer. Although not lacking in skill, their fairly generic brand of alt-rock paled in comparison to the creativity of Kazzer's set. The remaining crowd was supportive however, especially when the opening line "You take my breath away..." marked the start of their biggest single thus far, "Standing All Alone". The completion of their set was marked by an almost immediate departure of the all-ages crowd. No encore requested or supplied. I guess it was past everyone's bed time.

Steve Donnelly Email WWW

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