Thievery Corporation :: 06.26.08 :: Central Park Summerstage :: New York, NY
Although Thievery Corporation was the headliner, the night’s time was evenly divided among the four bands that performed, which was a good or bad aspect depending on whether you bought your ticket with the idea of seeing a Thievery Corporation show or just a night of live music. Although the doors opened at 5 p.m. and the music started at six, Thievery Corporation didn’t get onstage until 9 p.m. and played for only one hour. It was an exhilarating hour though, and the other performers were worth seeing. There had been forecasts of rain and thunderstorms but when the music began with Argentina’s Federico Aubele, the sun was shining bright and hot. People were laid out on the ground in front of the stage, shirts and shoes off, while the sounds of Aubele and his gently strumming guitar filled the air. With his band consisting of drums, bass, keys and guitar, Aubele played a short set that was pleasant as ambience while the crowd strolled in.
The next band that played was a local electronic group, Turntables on the Hudson, which brought the first real burst of energy to the evening. A similar setup and sound to Thievery Corporation, although scaled down to a degree, this group was made up of two DJs and two percussionists, one of whom switched between congos and the Middle Eastern string instrument, the oud. This group plays every week at Water Taxi Beach and is worth checking out.
By the time the headliner got onstage darkness had fallen over Central Park. Their set-up was a bassist, two percussionists (one behind the congas and bongos, the other playing cymbals), a sitar player, several guest vocalists, and at the center, of course, the two DJs. The set was a multimedia extravaganza, with a jumbo-TV behind the band playing visual goodies from psychedelic amoebas to clips of an emaciated Indian man doing yoga, and a belly dancer clad in archaic Arab apparel came on for one song.
The grooves were like a gravitational force sucking in the audience. Everyone in the crowd was dancing as if they were in a club rather than the open air of Central Park. While the music was spectacular, the glitches in the sound system, which periodically crackled and clicked, interfered.
Thievery Corporations’ sound breaks free from the often canned, contrived feeling of a lot of DJ dance music by incorporating live instruments and vocalists into their music, which adds a more visceral, organic aspect. Watching Thievery perform isn’t at all simply watching two DJs behind turntables fiddling with computers and synths.
The strict 10 p.m. curfew of Central Park, as well as the lengthy periods of set-up in between each group, cut down the time of actual music, which clearly irritated many of the concertgoers who had paid $65 dollars for their tickets. With the beautiful weather, relatively cheap food and beer (six dollar cheeseburgers are a bargain for NYC concert venue standards) and hours of diverse world music though, it’s hard to complain.
JamBase | Under Night Skies
Go See Live Music!
Watch Bob Weir perform four songs with Green Leaf Rustlers last night at the Sweet Water Music Hall.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner has confirmed Tom Petty died due to an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.
Last night’s The Avett Brothers concert began with the band covering The Cranberries in tribute to Dolores O’Riordan, who passed away this week at the age of 46.
Organizers of the Levitate Music & Arts Festival have revealed the lineup for this July’s event.
Chris Robinson, Barry Sless, Pete Sears, John Molo and Greg Loiacono played the first show of the inaugural Green Leaf Rustlers tour last night in California.
Organizers of the annual Mountain Jam music festival have announced the lineup for the 2018 installment.