Thievery Corporation, along with Beats Antique, bring out their entire frenzied circus of world fusion sounds to their Chicago performance.

One would typically stray away from the statement, “There’s something for everybody,” but, in regards to the craft music of Thievery Corporation and Beats Antique, it actually fits perfectly.

World fusion music. What does it sound like? What does it not sound like?

Is it rock? Yes..

Is it tribal? Yes.

Is it classical? Yes, of every origin.

Can I dance to it? Can I clap my hands to it? Can I swim in it? Yes, yes, and absolutely.

As part of a weekend that kicked off the Grateful Dead‘s Chicago farewell concerts, the two great world fusion music groups converged at Chicago’s majestic Aragon Ballroom to pay homage to the great American band in a celebration of all the sounds of our planet. Ranging from hip hop and reggae to rock and blues to belly dance and samba and beyond. It was a celebration of human life.

Beats got the ball rolling with what could only be described as circus music. Band member Zoe Jakes took center stage in full-force beating on a bass drum and engaging the crowd. In no time, the sonics morphed towards the realm of big band and belly dance as an ensemble of feather vested performers took to the stage to put on a dance routine that combined belly dance with the vibes of a classy speakeasy. From tune-to-tune David Satori switched through an arsenal of instruments ranging from guitar, trumpet, violin, cumbus, and then some. And keeping the backbone percussion of it all was “Sidecar” Tommy Cappel whose timing and rhythm would never skip a beat.

By the end of their set, Satori introduced the eclectic four-piece brass section comprised of musicians that they had flown in all the way from New Orleans. With the brass adding the final, triumphant ingredient to the musical stew, the air went electric as fans danced and rocked to the beat.

Thievery Corporation took to the stage next in what could be called an entire music festival lived within a two-hour set. They used their ample time slot diligently covering the span of their catalog. They played fan favorites such as, “The Heart’s a Lonely Hunter,” and, “Vampires.” In one moment, Rob Myers was jamming away on the sitar in an Asian-flavored melody and then, in the next, Sleepy Wonder took to the mic to grace us all with a Reggae number. To top it all off, the Corporation took the time to cover a few tracks by the Dead in honor of the festivities that the weekend had in store for much of the crowd.

Upon the conclusion of the four hours of ceaseless music and culture, the experience had transcended that of a typical concert where a band plays their hits. Instead it was group meditation with sounds that play to the soul of the human spirit.

Thievery Corporation
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Beats Antique
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