Talk about luck. Today's Secret Agent 23 Skidoo show had the feeling of a private house concert. The show took place in the front room of the intimate Grindstone Coffee shop on 5th Street, just south of South St. in Philly. The 15 square foot space is bordered with well-worn sofas, mismatched chairs, striking artwork, old books and vinyl records.
One could tell that 23 Skidoo felt at home in the space. Although knowing him the little bit that I do, I get the sense he's relaxed and at home just about anywhere he lays down his hat. The friends, family and fortunate fans who made their way to South Philly on this warm Sunday afternoon were treated to what ended up being a free 1 hour gig with the best kid's hip hop artist working today (that statement isn't nearly as provocative as it may sound as Skidoo's main challenger for the crown is Hip Hop Harry)
Cactus was joined by his wife Brooke and their adorable lil' gal Saki. The incredible Mahira was also on hand lending backing vocals and gorgeous harmonies. The set included 3 new tunes, from the forthcoming re-release of "Easy" on Tor Hyams' Happiness Records. The best of the new trio was "Robots Can't Cry", featuring both Mahira and Brooke on vocals. Check it out below - watch for Saki entering 1/2 way through doing the robot back and forth across the floor and then, right on queue with the lyrics, becoming a very sad robot. Terrific song. Brilliant performance.
Later in the set, Saki joined Mom and Pop on the mic for "Family Tree", which is the Bear's favorite track from "Easy". The live version was pretty true to the record, Saki even sounds the same despite having aged at least a year since it's recording. Adorable, funny song and seeing the entire family singing it together was pretty special. Check out "Family Tree" live:
As it was the last time we saw 23 Skidoo, "Gotta Be Me" closed the show. This time the Bear took the microphone for one go around of the chorus. She shouted out the song's title a half dozen times - loud and proud!
We're going to be seeing Secret Agent 23 Skidoo & Family again in less than 48 hours. This time at the more expansive Philadelphia Zoo.
It's not like it was invitation only or anything, but still, I feel kinda honored to have seen such an intimate 23 Skidoo show, especially 'cause his audiences are bound to start expanding as his star in the family music world keeps rising.
Post-show, the Mouse was spotted on the streets of Philadelphia sporting her new 23 Skidoo Tee.
Buy the new expanded version of Secret Agent 23 Skidoo's "Easy"