Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Concert Review: Seun Anikulapo Kuti and Egypt 80 @ SOB's

Contributed by Erin Steadman

Seun Anikulapo Kuti & Egypt 80’s most recent New York show at SOBs on July 27th, proved that Afrobeat is still a very sought-after sound and experience. Possessing the high cheekbones and sweet eyes of his Father, you would have thought you were in front of the man, Fela, himself. Seun might be the youngest son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, but in no way did he fall short of mesmerizing the crowd with his high energy and political disquisition. Between saxophone solos in “Rise” from their newest album, ‘From Africa with Fury: Rise’, Seun set a more solemn, yet groovy, mood over the crowd as he chants about Africa needing to rise against diamond and petroleum companies bringing them down.

At sight of the band, the crowd was already dancing. Though the ultra-high BPM of “Mr. Big Thief” is what really turned the venue known as SOBs into 4,000 square feet of a mini World dance party. It was no longer a show anymore; it was an experience. If you closed your eyes, you could hear the different layers in the music and you were suddenly moving your body in ways you didn’t know you could. Political verse would then make its way through, telling African soldiers that they need to put their uniforms down. At the end of this powerful song, Seun stands shirtless, in the famous stance of his Father. Seun then proceeds to break the ice even more by letting Americans know that they should always turn Kuti on when things go down in the bedroom.

All in all, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 is an experience not to be missed. If you have the chance to see this band, do yourself a favor. If you are unable to see them live, at least familiar yourself with their new album ‘From African with Fury: Rise’ and be ready to embark on a real, raw journey.

No comments: