Thievery Corporation: Zion House Band

Thievery Corporation
The Fox Theater
Oakland, CA
September 16, 2011

Thievery Corporation: Zion House Band

First, let me say that Thievery Corporation has the best name in rock today. It is the perfect embodiment of the zeitgeist that we are currently living through as well as an apt description of the band's music. Thievery is a multicultural, multiracial band that looks and sounds like the future. They could be the house band for Zion, the last outpost of humanity in the Matrix film series.

TC's recordings are fairly laid-back, lounge-lizard amalgamations of pop, rock, jazz, reggae, Brazilian samba and rap with hints of Middle Eastern music or Punjabi Bhangra. However, the music really comes alive on stage and is presented in a much more upbeat, party-now-because-the-machines-are-coming-what-else-you-gonna-do fashion. Needless to say, it was a fun show.

I love the melodic hook of the sitar over the groovy baseline of "Lebanese Blonde," an early highlight on Friday, and the all-out funk of the "the Numbers Game." To me, it really sounds like a celebration of our multicultural world. I also loved TC's inclusion of Sly and the Family Stone's "Thank You (falettinme be mice elf again)." Perhaps a small homage to one of the first bands to tread this path back in the 1960s and 1970s. Both bands and their music are partly a celebration of the oneness of our diversity. So many flavors in this world, why limit yourself?

It is hard to think of Thievery as a duo when there are 10-12 people on stage and a constantly revolving group of singers fronting the band. The band did not play two songs consecutively with the same singer. Nevertheless, T. Corp. albums are the brainchildren of duo Rob Garza and Eric Hilton who enlist a talented crew of musicians when they hit the road. And last night at the Fox was no exception, the band was thoroughly professional and have got some serious chops.

All of that said, there were times where I felt that Thievery was missing something on stage. The band was so much about riding the perfect groove while a stew of funk and dance and jazz floats over the top that the melody can be lost in the mix. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a fun band to see live, you will have a hard time finding better.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great review. I like how you included the reference to Punjabi Bhangra in there. I often think that when I am listening to them as well. Was completely bummed to miss the show though.