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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gnarls Barkley saved a piece of Isaac Hayes' soul last night

The epitome of ‘Hot Buttered Soul’

Cee-Lo and DangerMouse certainly proved to be The Odd Couple last night on Gnarls Barkley's return home to Atlanta for a performance at the Variety Playhouse.

For most of the show, Cee-Lo resembled a fired-up storefront preacher mixed with a little bit of a Hell's Angel as he quickly peeled out of his shiny turquoise tuxedo jacket and black shirt to reveal a black wife-beater, tattooed arms and chest, and a thick gold chain with a cross that dangled down to his pot belly — to which I overheard Jodine of Jodine's Corner respond, "Big Sexy's in the building!"

Though he didn't dance ("This floor is slippery — I was going to show y'all some of my moves."), he'd half do a little herky jerky thing with his arms every once in awhile then throw them up in the air in a way that reminded me of the little church lady who used to catch the Holy Ghost on the front pew every Sunday.

Meanwhile, Danger Mouse looked like some crazed but concentrated concert pianist as he hunched his back over the keyboard and played ever so slightly. The only thing missing was a candelabra and a black cat.

For the encore, Cee-Lo returned to the stage wearing black shades and smoking a cigarette. Paired with his bald head and gold chain, it immediately conjured up the image of Isaac Hayes, circa his Hot Buttered Soul era. And when DangerMouse sat down at the synthesizer, he began to play two notes in a fashion that almost mimicked Hayes' classic eight-minute monologue on his remake of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."

Instead, Gnarls Barkley launched into "Who's Gonna Save My Soul" — a song Cee-Lo told CL in last week's feature that he originally wrote to mourn James Brown's death. The lyrics were a perfect ode to the recently deceased Isaac Hayes last night.

Check out clcribnotes.com tomorrow for Perry Julien photos of last night's Gnarls Barkley performance, along with opening act Janelle Monae — who will also be the subject of CL's music feature this Wednesday. Bad Boy Records re-releases her suite (EP) Metropolis: The Chase today.

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