Sunday, July 01, 2007

Antibalas w/ JFK & the Conspirators -- Pyramid Cabaret, Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

I keep forgetting how much I like JFK & the Conspirators.

I mean, I don't think I've ever actively disliked them; I think it's just that I've never been exposed to them for any significant length of time outside of campus radio. Which seems odd, because they've been around since at least the late 1990s. Maybe I've just been taking them for granted, I don't know.

Anyway! Oldschool dancehall reggae is alive and well and in good hands; they have some great charts, they've got a definite commitment to authenticity, and if nothing else I must say that I will not argue with a band that goes out of their way to include a cowbell solo in their set.

Damn right.

This show was perhaps the most packed I've ever seen the Pyramid Cabaret, so I probably caught like eight different colds the building warmed up pretty quickly. It was hot, it was crowded, it was noisy, and the women were gorgeous -- so since this almost perfectly describes New York City as well, the stage was set perfectly for the current standard bearers of Afrobeat. (Okay, yes, that's probably a title more applicable to Femi Kuti, but so far I've yet to meet anybody who values Fema Kuti over Antibalas musically. Humour me here.)

Hell with it, I couldn't really get any good photos; it's hard to take well-focused pictures when you're too busy dancing to stand still.

And dance I did, because that is what I do. Nothing like a couple straight hours of dancing to pick up your mood! (Or to tire you out completely at work the next day, but I'm not old enough yet to understand how consequences work.)

I love Afrobeat dearly; I believe I've mentioned that before. The Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra had been through the city once before, years ago; as I recall I'd been unable to go because of a school or work commitment (which narrows it down, har har), and as I recall I had been particularly frustrated by it. So I'd been looking forward to this concert like crazy, and it did not disappoint -- which is impressive, considering the buildup it had garnered in my mind.

I still don't own their new album (I intend to, oh yes, I intend to), so a lot of the material was completely new to me; from the sound of things they've improved their arrangement writing dramatically, and it was already hot shit to begin with. With that said, you can imagine the marking out I did when they hit their older stuff (IN-DICT-MENT~! WHAM WHAM WHAM); this concert was probably the happiest I've been since I graduated from university, which is a little demoralizing to consider but gets the point across that I had the time of my life.

I know that in the last little while I'd made a bit of a to-do about bad things happening when I go to concerts, but I'm happy to report that no calamities erupted this time around. A good time was had by all; a random passerby high-fived me for my choice in t-shirts (I was wearing the Working Class Hero one, if you're wondering -- I don't know why my shirt collection has been so appreciated lately, it's kind of bizarre); and as I left the show I ran into my half-brother, who I haven't seen in maybe a year and a half. So that was good.

Things are looking up!

It's the Canada Day weekend right now (okay, right now it is Canada Day -- happy Canada Day, folks!), and there's no shortage of things you could go out and do. I might poke around a bit here and there today, but most of my energy is being saved up for tomorrow -- because tomorrow night is the annual Moses Mayes concert at Old Market Square, and it is a personal tradition of mine to go and dance myself to the point of oncoming exhaustion death. See you there!


Rex said...

Good GOD MAN, get your priorities straight!
1)Music (not just pictures and praise) from the band,
2)Pictures (not just praise and brief mention) of the ladies!

FreedomBlog said...

I am also a BIG JFK fan....they have been around for about 10 years ( that's when I got into them ) .

The album I have of their still gets heavy play in my car !