LEVELHEADED is pleased to present the online US tour diary of DJ Vadim's Russian Percussion Crew. Check this page every week during the entirety of the US tour for a new entry.

Week 1: 02.12.03 - 02.21.03
Week 2: 02.21.03 - 02.27.03
Week 3: 02.27.03 - 03.06.03
Week 4: 03.06.03 - 03.12.03
Week 5: 03.13.03 - 03.19.03
Week 6: 03.20.03 - 03.26.03
Week 7: 03.27.03 - 04.02.03
Week 8: 04.03.03 - 04.09.03
Week 9:
04.10.03 - 04.16.03


Welcome to the 8th Diary. It's the 2nd to last week and we're getting sleepy! But we have some great shows to cheer us up. And we meet some great people.

04.03.03 - 04.09.03

Thursday, April, 3rd - Chicago

Dear Diary,

After a bit of a lie-in after coming back from the Funk club the night before and watching some late night movies, our 2nd day in Chicago included more record shopping in North Clark and Belmont! We can never buy enough. We were suppose to hook up with DJ white lightening in the day but he was feeling a little tipsy plus he had to do an early show in north Chi town. Yarah went to look for presents for her relatives and more hats. Gez and Girthy AKA First Rate chilled at our hotel and watched movies all day. The show was at the 'Empty Bottle' which is a pretty cool spot. We had invited a lot of friends over and notably the Molemen family and Galapagos 4 plus people from Frontline so we were all looking forward to the show. Though there was a torrential rain storm going on outside. And we thought people weren't gonna turn up because of the weather. (we have had so much bad weather on this tour!)

Anyway after everything we had a great time and the show rocked pretty well. At the end Adad performed his track 'Danny glover' which is one of our favorite tracks at the moment. Well after all the handshaking and after hours drinks, we headed to the studio with Adad and some of the Frontline posse to listen to some music (Eulorhythmics) and record some stuff. Yarah went of with Galapagos 4 and First Rate tagged along hoping there would some ladies at the spot.

They wanted to record some stuff, but I guess everyone was knackered. We all met back at the hotel in the morning....not knowing where we were... aaaaaaaah

Friday, April, 4th - Cleveland

We were here a year ago but played in a strange venue called the 'Beach Land'. We had actually done quite a bit of press for this city and cause last year went pretty well we were looking forward to coming here aging. The venue was cool and they were having Mr lif, Akrobatic, Jungle Bros, Black Sheep, El- P and Beans all come and perform here so we were quite amped. Unfortunately the crowd didnt live up to our hopes. Quite a few people turned up but the crowd was totally dead. I mean there were a few music lovers there but in general we couldn't work out what was up with the crowd. Very strange and for us, one of the worst shows we have done in USA apart from Boulder (CO) in terms of response and crowd participation. A few people told us that this is the way it is here but its disappointing flying 7 hours and driving 24000 km (15000 miles around USA /Canada) to get a mediocre response like we are some amateurs from Hicks Ville.

I think part of the problem in North America is:

1). there isn't such a thing as a "Promoter" or it isn't that common at least. Like a club will book a show and do a combined add for the months shows and perhaps a small write up in some mag. But no flyers or posters.... so the average person, unless he reads that ONE free newspaper ain't gonna know we are in town even if he goes to his local spot to buy tunes.

2). Hip hop in USA and to a certain extent Canada is over-saturated. People don't give a shit about it cause its everywhere. in fact i would say in 2003 hip hop in USA is more about wearing the right clothes, saying the right slang and having Lugz and not Puma's on your feet, etc than the musical content/ lyrics/ style/ originality/ creativity. I think if you asked the average hip hop consumer who was the world DMC DJ champion or ITF champion they wouldn't know, or name the battle of the year break dance champion, or know the best beatboxer or even know any of the Scribble jam freestyle winners???? It's not even knowing exactly but even having a faint idea. A bit like say a supposed tennis fan not knowing any of the competitions, skills, winners, past champions, venues, key players etc... but still claiming they love tennis cause they wear Nike!!! you feel me??

Saturday, April, 5th - Detroit

After last night we were all a little down on what tonight might be like. All we knew about Detroit was that this is/was motor city and now Ford and GM have moved leaving mass unemployment, depression, closures, run down buildings and that genaral rugged feeling. And of course Slum, Jay Dee, D12 and Eminem plus booty tech techno represent Detroit. We had to do the tourist thing when we drove in and that was to see '8 mile road'. Not actually much to look at but a mass of petrol stations, car workshops and shops etc plus a whole lotta of ghetto ass stuff!!!

DJ graffiti opened up for us with a medley of blackmoon, bucktown stuff after which we really did raise the house on fire. Excellent show , great responce and the total opposite to yesterday. There were quite a few heads in the place including some female MCs from the Anomalies crew. Yarah got of talking to MC Invincible, who she reckons is a killer MC.... hope they'll collab on something. That be great. And there were some people from the recently released CD - the Detroit Experiment (its pretty fresh - check it out). The after party was at the local hip hop shop - The wax museum!! Really nice spot, with a good hiphop selection...

Sunday, April, 6th - Pittsburgh

We are all feeling crap now. really tired and drained, headaches, pains and a general feeling of being well run down. Welcome to the life of a cosmic gypsie. I think for the past 2 weeks we have been getting maximum 5 hours sleep average per night and that really isn't enough. Its even harder to walk on stage and be all smiley and amped and ready to rip when you actually feel like going to sleep. More now then ever are we really are relying on the response of the crowd. The more they give, literally the more we give...

The 'Rex' where we played was an old theatre/cinema type affair with the seating still there so it was a little strange at first with everyone sitting down when we came in like we were some classical group. funny eh!!. Anyway, our man J-sands and the Lone Catalysts opened up for us and they are hella cool. Lone to the Cata, Cata to the Lyst what what what!!! Well First rate got everyone to jump out of their seats and come to the front which was cool cause then they got really into it. Its strange how a crowd of 140 people in Pittsburgh make more noise than 200 in Cleveland? It was great.

Monday, April, 7th - Buffalo

Hummus, falafel and fresh donuts for breakfast. ummmn! Followed by a sprinty around a local out-let prime mega plex affair. We see these every so often on the inter state roads. Great bargains to be found all round. Gez bought some shorts (though it was 30° outside) and tried to sniff out more Adidas shell toe's though was unsuccessful this time. Yarah bought more hats, perfume and went crazy looking in all the shoe shops . First Rate ate some salad and i went buckwild in the Timberland shop again. How are we going to be able to bring all this stuff home?

We played in Buffalo last year and this was one of the best shows on that tour so we were all looking forward to playing here. This time 12 months on we were greeted with yet another snow storm, ice and freezing conditions... great!!! the venue also changed at the last minute cause of that Rhode Island fire incident and Great White concert. It was a proper live venue but way too big for us on a Monday night in the middle of a snow storm so even though we had a good turnout - actually amazing 200 strong crowd, they still jingled around too much inside. Baby stepz opened up for us again and they were nice. First Rate got confused and called them Baby g1eez!

Tuesday, April, 8th - Peterborough

Another new spot for this tour but very familiar weather. And to be honest right about now we need a little more sunshine in our lives! After a sleep-in at the promoters house in buffalo via a late breakfast brunch, we made it to the land of maple leaves. Peterborough is a tiny little town like 1 hour outside Toronto. Its even colder here.! The show went ok but the crowd wasn't the biggest. The sound system was wack and the engineer kept pissing off so loads of feedback and screeching....

Wednesday, April, 9th - Toronto

straight after the Peterborough show we drove to Toronto, so we arrived at around 5 am all thoroughly knackered. sleep-in till 4pm and watch tv. We played in Toronto last year with Anti pop consortium which went really well so we were all looking forward to here also. At the moment they have the SARS problem which has been diagnosed in loads of places worldwide with a few outbreaks here so quite a few Americans were like ' yo, u gotta cancel that shit, we ain't trying to fuck with that shit...' But nothing stops the Russian percussion, War, weather, illness, broken down cars, terrorist attacks (a bomb went off in Tel Aviv the same day in a club down the road from where we were playing) so SARS wasn't going to stop us.

Sixtoo was opening for us and he was hella cool as a person and did a nice set including visuals and some live MPC work.... Our show was off the hook, packed venue, great people...and just over all GOOD!! Prevail from Swollen Members came down to chill...we were just reminiscing telling old tour stories. Toronto rocks...and so did we...

--The Underground Secret Society of Rhythm
DJ Vadim
Yarah Bravo
First Rate



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