Monday night’s Jedi Mind Tricks show at Toad’s was a pretty standard underground concert — audience full of hip-hop heads and adventurous rockers, high-intensity verses and a lot of call-and-response. Every time DJ Kwestion dropped a beat, the whole crowd knew what it was and jumped up and down in anticipation. Rapper Vinnie Paz proceeded to tear through his verses with some hype man help from Crypt the Warchild of OuterSpace. This went on for about 20 minutes.
Then someone handed Jus Allah a mic. Jus, who recently returned to the group after leaving in 2001, added complexity to the show’s dynamic, contrasting his smooth flow against Vin’s raw delivery. Fans finally got to hear “Heavenly Divine” in its original form, with Vinnie and Jus trading verses over that immortal Yo-Yo Ma sample-driven beat.
Things picked up from there, culminating in a five MC finale. Apathy, who had opened, and Planetary (Warchild’s OuterSpace partner) joined the others on stage to perform songs from the Army of the Pharaohs catalog. Although key members of the underground supergroup like Reef the Lost Cauze were missing, AOTP rocked the crowd out of a sense of lethargy Paz mentioned several times earlier in the show.
Perhaps it was this lack of love that caused JMT to leave the stage before 1 a.m. Despite the highlights, their one-hour set left much to be desired. Fans would have loved to hear more favorites like “Sacrifice” and “Blood Runs Cold.” An encore would have made the solid show great. But no one protested with shouts of “encore” when JMT peaced out, so maybe the audience didn’t deserve one.