Some band names just work.
You may have missed it (some of you people just about missed it—despite a well-read event post and 439 Facebook attendees, this crowd never even nearly approached capacity), but Eclectic hosted one of the coolest shows of the semester last Saturday: a full-scale “motherfucking afrobeat-funk throwdown” straight outta 1972 (Fela Kuti whatup?). On the bill: newly formed Wes band Treasure Island; NYU- and Wes-based Emefe; and, most fantastically, Brooklyn-based Afrobeaters Superhuman Happiness, who played a relentlessly funky, inspired 90+-minute set featuring hugely acclaimed saxophonist Stuart D. Bogie. (Side-note: Do follow that link to the group’s Bandcamp page. There you’ll find various recordings available for name-your-price download, including a 25-minute 2008 EP which nearly, if not quite fully, hints at the extended genre-bending funk grooves explored last Saturday at Eclectic.)
I could throw down a laundry list of specific nuggets that made this show a blast. Near the top of the list: the infectious, Kuti-esque vocal chants reverberating through SH’s set; that spirited Hora-like dance that swept up the audience a few times in a frenzy of Bar Mitzvah withdrawal; the totally inevitable “SWAG! SWAG! SWAG!” chant [if you don’t know what this is, consume more internets]; the sight of A-Batte trying to high-five the band more aggressively than anyone has ever tried to high-five anything; etc, etc, etc. But these are all secondary. Mostly, this performance was just unbelievably tight, and—thanks to moderate attendance (alarming: when did we all become allergic to $2 ticket sales?)—uniquely enhanced by the fact that audience members actually had personal space to move around at Eclectic. Hipsters? Dancing? Say wha!?
Anyway: Superhumanly Happy photo gallery below. Major props to Neo Sora ’13 for putting this together, with extra help from Aaron Veerasuntharam ’14 and Llama Chow ’12.