Reviews: Yasiin Bey, Jim Brickman, Waka Flocka Flame, Aphex Twin

Today’s collection of colorful critiques includes Yasiin Bey’s night in New York; Jim Brickman bringing his Christmas show to Columbus; Waka Flocka Flame in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Aphex Twin in Houston.

Yasiin Bey (the artist formally known as Mos Def) @ Apollo Theater in New York, N.Y., Dec. 21 – “Throughout the night, he zigged and zagged between the two. Mr. Bey is, now as ever, intensely charismatic – a cozy, confident, centered presence with an easy smile. He is one of the most inherently musical rappers ever, a flexible vocalist gifted in complex verse but also fluent in soul serenade, rock shouting, reggae toasting and more.” – Jon Caramanica / The New York Times

Jim Brickman @ Southern Theatre in Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 21 – “For those worn out by the holidays, however, a concert featuring pianist Jim Brickman is just what the doctor ordered.” – Peter Tonguette / The Columbus Dispatch

Donald Traill / Invision / AP
– Waka Flocka Flame
Pier 94, New York City

Waka Flocka Flame @ Livewire in Scottsdale, Ariz., Dec. 19 – “Towards the end of his set, he walked offstage and entered the audience. Security quickly lost sight of him. They stood on top of leather sofas to get a bead on him, shifting their weight so they wouldn’t sink into the cushions. The crowd went wild as he got back onstage to finish his set with a few more quick bangers before checking out for the afterparty. There was no encore.” – Ashley Naftule/Phoenix New Times

Aphex Twin @ “Day For Night” in Houston, Texas, Dec. 17 – “The first half of the set is noticeably more complex—the type of restlessly percussive compositions you’d associate with The Richard D. James Album or I Care Because You Do – but in the second half he ramps up to a simpler but fiercer and more driving sound, a mood we first encountered some 25 years ago on ‘Digeridoo.’” – Jonathan Patrick / Fact