East Coast rebel with a West Coast sound: All Together Now #6 at The Burren

Another exciting edition of All Together Now has come and gone, leaving audience members with an insatiable desire for more (another installment is already planned for the end of September). The sixth show briefly left its home at Inman Square’s Lilypad to venture into The Burren’s Backroom Series in Davis Square. Coordinator Anna Rae collected a phenomenal lineup for the show, including Boston Calling comedy host Lamont Price, local hip-hop artist Rex Mac, and a crew of tango musicians and dancers. While the show ended earlier than previous installments, the talent did not disappoint.

The night commences with a stream of high-energy synth beats, courtesy of Rex Mac, a humble yet chipper hip-hop artist. He’s excited to perform for an event that caters to the LGBT community, women, people of color, and other minorities, especially considering the static of the day’s events during the Free Speech Rally in the Boston Commons.

“All this sh*t’s original,” he mentions, “I make all my own beats.” Rex puts his all into his songs, lyrically and physically; most songs include a brief Rex dance and a little background on the track. He also throws in a two-part song about growing up on a mix of West Coast and East Coast hip-hop, which greatly influenced his sound over the years.

“I’m an East Coast rebel with a West Coast sound,” he chants, bobbing up and down with the microphone in hand. A group of people tucked in a corner booth dance in their seats, smiling at the raw, cheerful energy Rex emits.

Rex ends his set with a track titled “What the F*ck,” which he saves for last because he usually loses his voice by the end. It’s his most spirited song of the night, garnering a clapping chant from the audience.

The stage lights dim and a single spotlight illuminates comedian Lamont Price as he walks onstage.

“How the f*ck do I follow that?” Price asks, eliciting laughter from the audience. Price starts off joking about cartoons and coconuts, but has a knack for finding the amusement in complex themes such as disappointment, race, activism, and pop-culture.

He tastefully weaves in jokes about the Antifa protesters and our cartoon villain of a president. “At least we got all the Nazis out of here…all six of them,” Price chuckles along with the audience. “I’m pretty sure I saw them moonwalking out of the Commons.”

Towards the end of his standup, Price tells the audience he has one serious question for them: “Who here grew up with a Nintendo? […] I hate you all.” He launches into a story about how all his friends had a Nintendo growing up and he was odd man out. But when his mother comes home with groceries and a bag with the word ‘Nintendo’ visible, he thinks his luck has changed. Only to find out his mother had purchased Nintendo cereal instead of the console.

“It was like eating a bowlful of strangers,” Price says, as the giggles subside. The Burren erupts in applause as Price leaves the stage and the room prepares for the tango group to round out the night.

The next act consists of five people: two dancers and three musicians. Pianist and vocalist Tara Tresner-Kirsch introduces the audience to the act, explaining that the remainder of the night will be spent exploring 100 years of tango dance and music. Each musician alternates presenting the songs, giving a small synopsis on the song’s time period and influence.

Tresner-Kirsch adapts seamlessly to every dance, switching instruments almost every other song and even taking a twirl onstage with dancer Laurel Hackley. Their sound highlights each instrument, giving time for each musician to shine. Hackley’s shimmering blue dress lights up her every move onstage, making the dance appear effortless. And then suddenly, it’s over. The tango lullaby subsides but the cello still hangs in the air.

Once the audience snaps back to this decade, Rae takes the stage once more to thank everyone and announce the next show. Tickets are already available for All Together Now #7, which will take place at the Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain on September 30. The place will fill up quickly, so be sure to grab your tickets ahead of time.

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