Friday night Common was in town to play a secret show at an MCA-owned loft in River West. It was sponsored by NBC 5, but despite the hella expensive-looking lighting rig, the catering, and the Hennessy open bar, it actually felt something like a real loft party--the crowd was fairly small and, since tickets were only available through a Common-themed trivia quiz, extremely pumped. In the rare moments when Com wasn't bouncing around, he was big-upping Chicago's racial diversity, bringing a south-side girl up onstage and asking her if she knew a chick who broke his guy's heart, and freestyling what might be hip-hop's first joke about the Blago scandal. The rest of the time he spent ripping through a good chunk of his discography with a super-tight backing band--including a hipster-looking white guy on guitar, in keeping with federal hip-hop backing-band labor laws--and making me seriously reconsider my initial opinion of his new Universal Mind Control.
Here's what it looked like: