Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saul Williams' and Afropunk

(In photo: a feather from Saul Williams' headdress worn during his Sun, Nov. 1 concert at the Black Cat in DC. Yup, I'm a groupie! My iPhone didn't have enough light to capture a pic of me and Saul, so, this'll do! I got a hug, too)

My spouse and I went to see Saul Williams this past Sunday and the show was amazing! Many know Saul as a spoken word artist and poet, but he is every bit of a rock star and gives a high energy show that is exhilirating.

Part of the Afropunk tour, his opening acts consisted of one band, Smyrk, that I really dug. The lead vocalist had a soulful voice that easily flowed over the strong band that played some of the best rock arrangements I've heard of late. I'm looking to get their CD soon.

Another opening band was non other than soul rock legend Living Color. I didn't know much of their music other than "Cult of Personality" from the late 80's, early 90's , but I am a bonafide fan now. Just downloaded their music.

The dud of the group was the group called Krak Attack. They were beyond wackness. One song they had "Fat girl, skinny girl" was the worst song I've ever heard. I started laughing, literally, because I thought they were joking. They got mad because we the audience weren't feeling them. One of them just walked off the stage at the end of their set and didn't even say goodbye. He just happened to be the DJ for Saul Williams' set. I could tell he had complained about us back stage because at one point Saul asked were we ok. My whole opinion about that is that all the folks there were there to see Saul Williams. Those of us there that love Saul Williams love him because of the lyrical genius that he is. All of those that performed him were expecting a punk rock crowd. That wasn't us. The whole crowd surfing, hanging from rafters thing, that wasn't this crowd. We were the working-30-somethings-who-are-staying-up-extra-late-because-we-want-to-see-Saul-but-we-would-normally-be-sleep-by-now-crowd.

Saul Williams moved me to tears almost when he performed Niggy Tardust and then stopped when members of the audience obviously didn't get the song (he says in the song "When I say Niggy, you say nothing" and you aren't supposed to say anything, but the whole audience yelled "NOTHING") and gave this mini speech on how all of the illusion around us is not meant for us to imbibe, but, instead, to mobilize us to move towards center. He said it in his own with such eloquence and it was like surreal how you could hear the silence of the audience. Few folks can do that in a crowded room.

This was a great way to start my November.

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