N.E.R.D front man Pharrell reaches out to the crowd during a performance at the Warfield in San Francisco.
I haven't blow dried my hair in at least six months, but last Thursday that $200 plus ionic salon dryer put in work – Pharrell was in town.
I can't say I ever really had a thing for le Skateboard P, but last week - with the recent barren-ness of manland and all - I decided to take a chance and develop a two week celebrity crush (I'm about halfway through).
I knew there would be a 35 second window where we might make eye contact while I was photographing up in the pit, so I busted out the big hair. Shameless. He DEF peeped himself a little Seher, but despite my most earnest wishes, I was not impregnated by his stare. Hold the baby showers. What really happened was that I returned his checkage with an ice grill because apparently that's my protocol. Whoops – there goes working it like a Polaroid picture.
But clearly this isn't about me, so let me stop right fast. All of N.E.R.D was in full effect at The Warfield last week and P told folks to ‘let em effer's know that (band mate) Chad (Hugo) was here tonight--people saying he doesn't come to shows.’ Hi, Chad.
The show aptly started off with "Time for Some Action" off their latest release, "Seeing Sounds." Action was indeed impending with one of two drummers standing while he hit.
Tugging at the heartstrings of eager screaming girlies and grown ass women, Pharrell brushed tender morsels of his funkadelic skater-rock-hop-ness onto the outstretched hands of any lassie willing to risk a dislocated shoulder.
Amongst the love showing was a particularly dope gesture: my former almost was lover noticed a fan in a wheelchair getting it in front row center and invited him up to witness the rest of the show from on stage.
The floorboard bumping performance was not for the faint. Rockstar-esque energy was a requirement with homeboy even singling out individuals on the balcony to stand up. And P worked it like a conductor with his orchestral three-part crowd cheering directives. You had to see it.
A hype man crew rushed stage and flailed about for the second half and obviously somewhere in between there was a groupie dance party as well. Entertaining people watching to say the least.
A new single with Lil Wayne and Santigold was featured in the set, but I don't really think it was done complete justice, as the featured artists weren't present. Anyhow – a new N.E.R.D album is being worked on = Yee-haw!
While the overall show was live as hell, I can't say the ending was as strong – I wouldn't have picked "Brain" as the closer. Personally, I would've used something more upbeat like "Spaz" off their most recent album. Alas.
To close, Pharell also plugged an online community for creative minds that he's recently created - Artst.com (with no “i”). Apparently, it's meant to help facilitate jobs as well. In the words of young P, "Who's gonna make it in this recession?!!"
Get nerdy, get money.
Seher Sikandar is a Bay Area-based photographer and writer who covers art and lifestyle events. Check out her portfolio at rehescreative.com.