CORRECTION 9/2/09: In this review of Coolio’s concert, a staff member told the critic that only a handful of tickets had been sold by 7 p.m.; the venue’s owner now says 200 tickets had been sold by that time. Also, the reviewer reported Coolio’s set lasted 45 minutes; the venue’s owner says the entire concert lasted 70 minutes.
The minute rapper Coolio finished his set at The Goose on Saturday night, the crowd made a stampede for the door. It was too late.
Word already had spread throughout the Hill and downtown Boulder about Coolio’s really late, short and unbelievably sound-challenged set.
Last week, locals were surprised to hear that rapper Coolio was playing Boulder’s Goose on Saturday. The doors of the Hill club were set to open at 5 p.m., and the hip-hop artist was supposed to take the stage by 7 p.m. so the show could end early and avoid noise-ordinance problems.
Wendy Kale blogs about the Boulder music scene daily on her Club Notes blog.
However, only a handful of tickets had been sold by 7:15 p.m., and the Goose was very empty. The doormen told people the showtime had been pushed back and that Coolio would be on by 8 p.m.
Potential patrons poked their heads in, but no Coolio at 8, 8:30 or even 9 p.m. The audience laughingly started taking bets on whether the rapper would even show. The club moderately filled up, but a lot of the patrons said they had been on the “guest list.”
The audience started to get really antsy until Coolio finally hit the stage at 9:40 p.m. The crowd inched up, but there was still plenty of room on the Goose patio and only a dozen people watched the show outside the see-through patio.
Coolio came on stage with his posse, but from the minute he opened his mouth the sound was a disaster.
The entire 45-minute set sounded like Coolio and his gang were rapping underwater. People tried standing up front, in the back of the patio and inside the club — and it didn’t get better. By the time the set was half-over, a chunk of the crowd had meandered to the back rooms or left the venue.
Coolio ran through several mind-numbing rap numbers like “Let’s Get Stupid,” but even great tunes like “From the Bottom 2 The Top” got mangled in the really bad sound mix.
The rapper didn’t make any apologies for the sound, but he did spend a good deal of the 45-minute show yelling out the word “motherfucker.” Whatever other words surrounded the f-bomb were mushed up in the sound — though something about Boulder and cocaine did manage to come through.
The show was over in less than 50 minutes, although Coolio and his crew did manage to come back out for a distorted-sounding encore of his megahit “Gangsta’s Paradise.” That number did rally the remaining crowd and the fans shouted out all the lyrics.
That was too late for the few people that gathered to watch outside The Goose. By the time the encore hit, there was only one really bad breakdancer performing out on the sidewalk.
Before the clock struck midnight, word of this comedy of errors hit the streets of Boulder. It was the buzz heard round town this weekend.
After seeing Lyrics Born throw down an amazing Friday night set at the Fox Theatre, Coolio needs to seriously re-think his game.