They had a worldwide hit with the first well-known hiphop track “Rappers Delight” in 1978 (the year I was born), which makes their hit 30 years old already but the Sugarhill Gang is still kicking it.
I didn’t know they were even playing until the day before, when Joris (my FCA colleague and Tivoli sound engineer) told me he was going there as well.
I hussled my Utrecht homie Robbert (who joined me to Austria) to come along so I could buy ‘my longboard’ from him. I had no idea what to expect from these guys who had been in the game for 30 years, but when the curtains opened I saw a stage with instruments, which means live music (I like that, even with hiphop).
They started with “Living in a Fast Lane” which was followed by a small tribute to Grandmaster Flash. Yes with “The Message”, which almost everybody sang/rapped along.
They started to jam a bit on their instruments and asked if there were any real mc’s in the house. Nobody dared to raise his voice, except 1 bloke, who called himself Chuckie D (if I heard correct). Now you never know what you get if someone jumps on stage during a concert, but his shit was nice. He wasn’t perfect but he did have some skills. The crowd loved it and also the Gang was impressed and they let him do some more.
They did some more tracks like Apache but everybody (and I do mean everybody) was waiting for that one track: Rappers Delight so when they said goodbye and thank you, nobody bought it. They came back on after a minute and gave us what we wanted; a live version of Rappers Delight, by Wonder Mike, Master Gee and Big Bank Hank. Those 5 minutes were worth the entire night, trip and entrance fee !