Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar and his band (Ahmoudou Madassane on rhythm guitar, Souleymane Ibrahim on drums, and Mikey Coltun on bass) played the first of two sold out nights at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday. He's on tour supporting his excellent new album Afrique Victime earlier this year, his first for Matador Records, and it's already one of my favorites of 2021.

I was excited to see the band again with a proper headlining show after being impressed by them two years ago at Solid Sound festival in Massachusetts. For the most part, Mdou Moctar's songs are largely instrumental, with occasional lyrics sung by him in his native Tamasheq language. Even though the lyrics were probably not understood by most of the attendees, the band had the crowd clapping, swaying and dancing to their upbeat set, with songs full of danceable rhythmic repetition and crunchy riffs.

Opening the show was D.C. duo Blacks' Myths -- Luke Stewart on bass and Warren Crudup III on drums -- whose music was completely instrumental save for a recorded spoken track being played from time to time. Their stuff is hard to characterize, containing elements of jazz, punk, experimental noise. While I enjoyed their set and look forward to diving into their recorded material more, I was also thankful I brought my earplugs as I could feel the hairs on my arms flutter from the sonic assault.

Both bands return for a second sold-out show tonight (9/10) -- tickets might available at the door. Check out pictures from Thursday's Music Hall of Williamsburg show below.

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