MC Lars @ Mana Bar 6th October
What do you do for people when it’s your birthday? Perhaps give them some cake and a bowl of mixed nuts. Well, if you’re Californian post-punk rapper LC Lars, you hold an intimate free show in the venue that his fan base would greatly appreciate. Mana Bar (336 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy) is a haven for gamers, with the walls lined with current-generation consoles loaded with multiplayer games of all kinds and game-themed cocktails. It was a near-perfect location for the geek icon to celebrate his 30th birthday.
Mana Bar is a small location, and it was packed to the brim even though there were only 30-40 people in the main room, providing an intimate atmosphere despite the rowdy Brunswick St partygoers outside the bar. The video games were barely touched while MC Lars, armed with only a laptop, to the mic. Despite the minimal (even by his standards) set-up, Lars was near flawless in his rhymes and occasionally broke out into whip-smart (and blindingly fast) freestyle verses.
It was MC Lars by request, fulfilling the loud concertgoer’s fantasy by playing whatever song was called out the loudest. Naturally, this means the set turned into a greatest hits set (which is somewhat appropriate Lars released a greatest hits album earlier this year) with tracks from his most recent release, The Edgar Allan Poe EP, sprinkled throughout. He ran through fan favourites such as ‘Download This Song,’ ‘Roommate from Hell,’ ‘iGeneration’ and ‘Signing Emo,’ occasionally seeking the help of the audience, who were more than happy to oblige. Lars ended his impressive set with a rendition of ‘Mr Raven’ that included a guest rapper and a crowd member holding a puppet version of Mr Raven. Afterwards, he hung around to talk to fans and play Mario Kart.
No-one can say that MC Lars doesn’t know how to please his fans.