Concert Review: Sage Francis at KHOI Community Radio

Nicole Presley

People packed the little KHOI Radio station Sept. 26 for Sage Francis’ performance for the Maximum Ames Music Festival.

The show began at 6 p.m. with a modest crowd filling up half of the radio station. Rapper Kris Clarke was the first opener and instead of using the small stage that was provided, he rapped directly in front of the small crowd on the floor. 

Covering rap isn’t my forte, but I’d say he did a pretty decent job, though he did have a few problems during his set. One of the problems was the speakers playing his music. They had a little bit of a crackling sound, which suggests something wasn’t balanced right or they were too loud.

Also since his set was short he started running out of time to play all the songs that were on his set list. Instead of cutting songs he decided to play half of a song and cut it abruptly in the middle where it didn’t really make sense. 

After Clarke, the second opener was hip-hop group AWTHNTKTS, comprised of johndope, ION and Romulan. These three guys kept up with each other flawlessly and received an applause after each song. 

They also performed on the floor in front of the crowd instead of on the small stage. ION spent quite a bit of time going out into the crowd while performing. 

Speeding things up just slightly, rapper Moonlight Grammar took the stage as the last opening performance and spent about half of his set on the floor and half on the little stage in the venue. 

Moonlight Grammar rapped faster than the other two performances and spent a good amount of time talking to the crowd. Every song ended in cheers from the audience and by then the crowd had started to fill up the little radio station. 

When it was the headliner’s turn, the place was truly packed. Francis was his own disk jockey, starting and stopping songs from his Mac computer. He also wore a flag as a cape that read “Strange Famous Records,” Francis’ record company.  

The crowd was rapping with almost every song and they applauded after every one. Francis played tunes from his old and new albums. 

Francis had a lot of conversation with the crowd between songs. He encouraged them to get as loud as they could saying, “I want the whole town to hear us.” 

Towards the end of his set, a handful of people held up their lighters. When his set ended, he stayed for an informal meet and greet with the crowd, even giving some of them hugs.