Posted in music on July 27, 2011

by Andrew Frisicano

Seun Kuti @ Prospect Park (by maiga_69)
Seun

A sizable crowd braved the 100 degree heat Friday night for Seun Kuti and Egypt 80's Celebrate Brooklyn show. Faaji Agba, a collective of Nigerian musicians, opened the night with a set of laid-back traditional tunes. By comparison, the Egypt 80 set was anything but laid back. Steamy music for a sweaty evening in Prospect Park.

The band first took the stage without their frontman for a warm-up song to set the mood. Though it was Seun's name on the bill, Fela's presence was felt throughout the evening. Egypt 80 used to be Fela's backing band, and in the introduction, the bandleader referred to Seun as "the last son of our hero, Fela Anikulapo Kuti." From there, another Fela tribute followed: a 10-plus minute version of "Zombie," probably Fela's best known song. Seun played the opening lick and took a moment to glance at the audience for a hint of recognition, which came in cheers and applause. The song was an early highlight, and an example of Seun's highly theatrical performance style.

During "Zombie," the singer moved in circles, pantomiming the lyrics of the chorus by marching across the stage, saluting, etc. Later on, he took care to water the stage aka his weed garden on "The Good Leaf," and sprint from side-to-side on "You Can Run." His active presence made for good viewing, though his moves often put his back to the crowd.

While Seun was the visual focus, the band's sonics centered on the Afrobeat rhythm. In addition to the kit drummer, the group's percussionists included musicians on shekere (that's a dried gourd with beads on the outside), wood block and congas (or a set of similar drums). Those three performers stood up front, at times blocking out the other band members (like the backup singers, stuck way in the back).

After the opening Fela tune, it was all Seun originals, mostly off the new From Africa with Fury: Rise: "African Rulers," "Giant of Africa," "Rise," "Mr. Big Thief," and the finale, "You Can Run." The ending--no encore because of park curfew--seemed abrupt, with the last song's soaring horns and charging rhythms marking the show's peak to that point.

The band should get more time to stretch out at their more intimate show at SOB's tonight (Wednesday, July 27th). Tickets are still on sale. More tour dates and info HERE. Video of "Zombie" from the Brooklyn show below...

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Comments (15)

what the fucking hell dude, ohmyrockness didn't list this. i'm only using BV now. jesus christ. fuck

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 2:51 AM

"the bandleader referred to Seun as "the last son of our hero, Fela Anikulapo Kuti." From there, another Fela tribute followed: a 10-plus minute version of "Zombie,"
Wow that sounds awesome, I wish I was at the show but unfortunately I can't make it.
Very jealous of you lucky guys that get to go, ill try and make it next time

Posted by watch movies for free | July 27, 2011 4:11 AM

I would be there definitely: JUL 27 SOBs New York, New York , US
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Posted by Cumhur | July 27, 2011 7:43 AM

I wish I could ride my Dad's coat tails with little to no talent! Some people have it made!

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 8:57 AM

That was a great show!

@8:57 - and you are riding the coatails of the son of a legend to impress the BV audience? So what does tha make you?

Someone with little or no talent could not have put a show on like that or create the music that he does.

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 9:08 AM

@8:57 Since you don't know who your dad is ya can't ride his coat tails, so I see your point. Take heart thought - you do have the no talent bit, so you have that going for ya.

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 9:45 AM

It was between this and DFA last Friday. It was a tough choice, but I stuck with DFA. Both would have been great, but I had to choose one.

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 9:55 AM

Please don't compare Seun with his amazing Dad's music. I agree with 8:57! I think 8:57 was just trying to make the point that without the legacy of his Father's music he would be nothing. He is just a replacement singer in his dad's band for god's sake.

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 10:39 AM

Shut up little bitch 10:39. The bus for summer camp is outside. Time for you to go bye-bye. Don't forget your baggie of carrot sticks.

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 10:54 AM

Please don't comment on a blog if you have nothing nice to say about the subject of the post. Is that how your mother raised you?

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 11:05 AM

I agree, it's like comparing Damian or Ziggy to Bob Marley! Without Daddies last name, they would be selling ganja!

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 11:32 AM

I do not disagree that their family ties greatly helped their career.

I just think it's extremely shortsighted and childish to make those kind of "he'd be nothing without daddy" comments.

Like it or not he is part of a family legacy. His father INVENTED a specific style of music and he has decided to continue a FAMILY tradition. Much like the Marley's although they didn't invent reggae.

You are simply jealous.

I am glad that he is trying to continue the musical legacy his father left him and appreciate his own compositions. Not so much for Femi, but that's just personal taste.

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 12:03 PM

It was a very impressive show.

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 1:46 PM

The ghost of Peter Tosh approves of this performance.

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2011 3:21 PM

With little or no talent could not have put a show on like that or create the music that he does. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Helicopteros a Venda | February 23, 2012 2:09 PM

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