Mark Ronson and the Business INTL Rock Webster Hall

Transcontinental producer extraordinaire, Mark Ronson may not be as recognizable in the US as in his former hometown of London, but his two New York shows prove that he should be. Playing alongside a posse of talented musicians known as “The Business INTL”, Ronson shows that what he lacks in fame, he makes up for in friends. “The Business” is a moniker for a collective of diverse singers and MCs currently on tour with Ronson. Vocalists Alex Greenwald (of Phantom Planet,) the haunting Rose Elinor Dougall (of the Pipettes) and the enigmatic MNDR shared singing duties during the night while the quirky MC, Spank Rock handled most of the responsibilities when it came to rapping; with the exception of a solo by up & coming rapper Pill and a spectacular cameo by Q-Tip (of A Tribe Called Quest).

Ronson’s tour comes off the heels of the release of his third album “Record Collection;” a stylized, digitized departure from his famous Grammy-winning retro, big band sound featured on his hugely successful second album “Version.” While the two albums have little in common – “little” being a stretch- Ronson created a set comprised of songs from both records that felt both natural and exciting; keeping the crowd on its feet the whole time.

While a song “Oh My God” could have felt empty without the horns, its new, more hard hitting arrangement (which more closely resembled the original Kaiser Chiefs version) allowed it to flow seamlessly into the set.

Matching gray suits aside, I’ve seen enough episodes of Behind the Music to know thatwhenever a group title features the word “and” in it, someone’s going to get their feelings hurt, but for a guy that doesn’t really sing (making his vocal debut on “Record Collection,”) “The Business” is how Ronson gets his lyrics heard. It’s clear that he doesn’t simply view “The Business” as a backing band but as stars to showcase as a collective and as individual artists. Aside from singing the songs on “Record Collection”, members sang their own songs, most memorable of which was Alex Greenwald’s performance of Phantom Planet’s hit and OC theme song “California.” The show may be but a distant memory for most but the crowd was all too willing to sing along to this blast from the past.

After getting the crowd pumped with a solid set of songs like “Just,” “The Night Last Night” and “Ooh Whee,” “The Business” cleared the stage and Ronson had what seemed like a futuristic computer desk rolled out and treated the crowd a DJ set. Complete with turn table and mac laptop, Ronson showed how and why he became famous in the first place. With Spank Rock and Pill joining him for solos, even the stiffest hipster was at least attempting to dance.


The Business returned for “Bang Bang Bang” which exploded into pandemonium when Q-Tip crept on stage for a surprise appearance. Equally surprising was the choice to play the “Version” opening track “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face;” an instrumental take on the Coldplay song. With no singers to distract, Ronson showed off his impressive skill as a guitarist; platinum blond hair swinging, white sneakers stomping throughout.

Even with the help of “The Business,” playing some of these songs could potentially present a problem. With the vocals of “Record Collection” shared amongst so many singers, there’s little chance they’d ever be in the same room for a live performance but Ronson’s ability to tweak arrangements for his singers and the versatility of “The Business” on these “newish” versions make for a refreshing and exciting live performance.

While being a producer might not get Ronson the fame of a singer, his collaborations make for more eclectic records and performances that feel more like festivals than concerts.


One Response to “Mark Ronson and the Business INTL Rock Webster Hall”

  1. i always choose computer desks which are colored white because it looks very classy and very net’,~

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: