Antibalas‘ 20th-anniversary tour rolled into Brooklyn Bowl in New York City on Friday, where the band was welcomed by a packed venue of fans who were more than ready to dance their way into the weekend. The horn-friendly Afro-frunk group treated those fans to a lively headlining performance which filled every corner of the popular Brooklyn venue with an abundance of rhythm, spirit, and unconditional energy.
Following an exciting opening set by the show’s support act Innov Gnawa, a local band which celebrates a mix of world music (primarily Moroccan), the 12-piece Afrobeat machine known as Antibalas took the stage to begin their nearly-two-hour performance right around 9:45 p.m. Though they were scheduled to begin at 9:30, their fashionably late start was led by singer Amayo, whose traditional on-stage attire and facepaint gave off just as much vibrant energy as the music itself.
Throughout their headlining set, Antibalas filled the venue with music from their 20-year career as a mix of horns, guitars, bongo drums transformed Brooklyn Bowl into the best international dance club in the city.
“Thank you for sticking with us!” Amayo said graciously over the microphone in sincere thanks for their ongoing 20th-anniversary run, before leading the venue in chant-like repetitions of “Deep-Unconditional-Love”. The singer, whose dreadlocks were tightly gathered in a multi-colored headwrap, continued to sprinkle the chant into his lyrics throughout the evening, allowing a flow of loving energy to spread throughout the audience, who were all just as busy dancing furiously as the band was playing. The performance continued with a mix of simply phenomenal horn solos courtesy of saxophonists Martín Perna and Morgan Price, as well as trumpet player Jordan McLean.
Fans can relive the musical magic from Friday night’s performance via the photo gallery below, courtesy of Tom Coyote.
Antibalas will continue their 20th-anniversary tour with another show at Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday evening. Fans can head to the band’s website for tickets to their upcoming performances.