photos by Amanda Hatfield

Despite a name that implies some of the serious hardships they've faced, Malian band Songhoy Blues are a joy to watch with an energy level that never flags. Still promoting last year's Music in Exile, the band's tour hit NYC on Thursday night (4/14) at Village club Le Poisson Rouge. They've got charisma and effortless charm to spare and had the crowd in their pocket from the get go.

Opening the night was Diamond Guardian Diffusion, a collaboration between Sam Hillmer (aka Diamond Terrifier) and Liturgy drummer Greg Fox (aka Guardian Alien). Pictures from their set, plus more of Songhoy Blues, below.

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Diamond Guardian Diffusion

Songhoy Blues