BADBADNOTGOOD created a distinctively funky and sophisticated evening at the Observatory North Park Thursday, July 20.

A bit more than a month after the controversial Rapper Sucker Punch, Observatory North Park decided to slip on a more fashionable, elegant gown for this evenings soiree into the high art festival scene.

To describe the stagnancy of the opening DJ’s set, here is a haiku: “One $12 Buffalo Trace old fashioned and I’m anticipating, feeling the dream I want to be levitating.” This anti-record swapping knob turner was not able to place the needle appropriately on the groove.

But alas, my calls to the higher powers of transcendental musical meditation were answered by the undeniable force that is BADBADNOTGOOD. This instrumental hip hop and jazz ensemble has managed the impossible feat of breaking out of the Downbeat Magazine aristocratic cage and connecting with millennials strictly through their creativity and Ivy League educated musicianship. Through their various shows at Coachella, Bonnaroo, and the European jazz festival Love Supreme, these gentlemen are the true messiahs of 21st century jazz and instrumental hip hop.

No need for trippy visuals, throwing cakes into the crowd, or guest vocalists… Well actually a couple MCs and semi-diva sirens would have been an entertaining addition. Despite their no fuss performance, BADBADNOTGOOD are so good live that I can finally come to terms with their elitist, yet self-deprecating band name.

Photos by: Nicholas Regalado