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[a]Everlast[/a] is a classic American hero.

Forget 'Marky' Mark Wahlberg. It's Everlast who should be in the movies. He's the perfect New York tough guy, but also, as the man who was once a member of Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate and rapper for Irish-American hoodlums House Of Pain, he's surprisingly sensitive. He takes to the stage tonight looking capable of kicking the shit out of the audience, all at once. But as he starts to play, you get the impression he probably cries at the end of Disney movies.



Everlast is doing rather well in America with his bizarre blend of hip-hop, Neil Young, Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart. He snarls and croons through 'Black Coffee' and the Carlos Santana-co-written 'Babylon Feeling'; and where most performers would cough nervously while accepting the praise of the crowd, Everlast puts his fist in the air and declares, "Y'all are the shit". He follows up by explaining his support for the French strikers, who had delayed his Channel crossing earlier that day, by saying, "I was raised on union money, too."



A couple of years ago, Everlast had a massive heart attack and nearly died. His songs tonight are reflective and - on 'We're All Gonna Die' - contain a hint of religion. If the face says Rykers Island then the heart says love and understanding. Like a prize fighter in reflective retirement, Everlast is a classic American hero.

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