The Nomad World Pub, a pet friendly pub perched on Cedar Ave., is a small narrow one-room bar on the west bank of Minneapolis. Boasting an unbelievable selection of taps from around the world, this cozy establishment is worth giving a first, or second, look. Strung up around it’s walls are unique art work including African inspired masks, a variety of paintings and above the front entrance a bicycle. Very fitting for the biker heavy community it is located in. The amazing list of beers and drink specials (including the so-called “hipster” special: a PBR, a shot of whiskey and a cigarette for $5) from around the world are painted in what appears to be chalk high on the wall along the entire length of the bar, each category given it’s own distinct calligraphy. Generally there is a pool table near the front of the bar but when the stage is folded out it’s tucked under and the room opens up a surprising amount. The acoustics are pretty decent and well suited for most bands, even if the stage is somewhat on the small side.
As a music venue the Nomad can get crowded pretty quickly and never was that more apparent then last night at the benefit concert for Haiti. Put together in what appears to be an incredibly short amount of time by Kanser member Uncius (a Haitian native himself), the Nomad has probably never seen such a busy Tuesday night. Packed inside and out (Nomad has two outside patio areas on either side, one with a bocce ball court) the list of Twin Cities Hip Hop scenesters in attendance only grew with the night. Pee Wee Dread floated through the crowd before his performance. Big Zack from Kanser, whose appearance at a TC Hip Hop event was remarked by one in the crowd as “sure as catching a cold from standing outside naked”, helped with donations, and Ant from Atmosphere was seen donating.
In addition to those in the audience, the performers on stage left an indelible impression on the crowd and showed how well a community of Hip Hop artists can put together such a large show in such a short time when there is a cause in need of it. Some highlights of performances:
Desdamona, with her raw, forceful delivery, rocking out with PB and The Jam on a few tracks and getting the crowd into it with a thoughtful call and response. Illuminous 3 repping the south side hard but giving a contagiously energetic performance. Malick’s rhymes “most fans expect watered down artists, I head straight for where the heart is”. The spastic bundle of energy that is Ernest Rhodes. The Hip Hop veterans gave lively, if brief performances all around but Bishop and Lil C had the most unexpected break out performance of the evening. A guy girl MC duo, they rapped with bluster and bravado over minimalist Cool Kids-esque beats and got the crowd bobbing their heads after there firey two song set.
Take this bar in with one of the strong tap beers from around the world like the 10%+ alcohol content of La Terrible by Unibroue from Quebec. That or get their 3 dollar tall boy PBRs. Come any night of the week for great atmosphere but check the website for your favorite local bands performance there.