Home > Classical, Singer-Songwriter, World Music > REVIEW: Ellery, CSO, Antibalas (Cincinnati – – late April 2007)

REVIEW: Ellery, CSO, Antibalas (Cincinnati – – late April 2007)

30th Apr 07 (Mon) Leave a comment Go to comments

Great three-concert weekend… Ellery/Over the Rhine on Friday, Paavi Järvi’s CSO with Alison Balsom on Saturday, and freakin’ ANTIBALAS on Sunday. Wow… I don’t mean to sound bitchy, but Over the Rhine was the lowlight of the weekend. I think I’m done seeing them live for a long time. So, yeah, you won’t hear me bitching about how bored I was anymore. I think I’ll set my self-imposed boycott at 4 years, and see how I do. unsure.gif I might sneak a Taft show in or a Portland show in… but I’m definitely/officially on the bubble these days for their live shows. Eh. It was a good run.

Anyway, Ellery… great stuff. Can’t wait for a follow-up album… Tasha’s got a great voice. This was my 9th time seeing them… and it doesn’t drag. Great songs, great music. I’ll miss them when we move to Oregon. Maybe they’ll have to come out and do some label showcase shows for their Seattle-based Virt Records. As for Over the Rhine, I liked some of their newer songs… but left after/during “Ohio.”

M & I saw the CSO with guest pianist Hélène Grimaud in the spring. I enjoyed it, but the piano didn’t seem to work as well (and Margarita was bored, to say the least). This show with solo trumpet, though… it was fantastic. The Paavi Järvi-led Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra played SIBELIUS’s Night Ride and Sunrise, then solo trumpeter from the UK Alison Balsom came out for HAYDN’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major. It popped, and the symphony and solo trumpet really meshed. Also impressive was the way she was belting out the notes while wearing a quite elegant and long evening gown. After the intermission, Paavo led the CSO through SIBELIUS’s The Bard and SCHUMANN’s Symphony No. 4 in D Minor. Fantastic evening… including dark chocolate pretzels from Divine’s at the show… mmm…. oh, and a veggie phillycheese from Northside’s Melt to start the evening off anyway…. mmm… Hail Seitan!

Last night was Antibalas (aka Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra). Wow. They’re an 11-piece band from NYC… maybe like an east-coast Ozomatli, but instead of the Latin feel, they’ve got the Nigerian thing going on. They’re similar to Ozo in that they’re also very funky, dancable, and political-infused. They went on around 10:15 and M & I ended up bouncing and dancing with some friends until we had to call it quits around 12:15am while they were wrapping up their last pre-encore song. Of the 2 hours, they probably played 6-8 songs… smile.gif Very groove oriented and some fantastic solos by all members… they had a keyboardist, congo-player/singer, 2 guitarists, a bassist, a gourd/percussionist, a drummer, 2 trumpeters, and 2 saxaphonists (1 alto, 1 baritone). Fun evening… the main singer’s shirt was also quite spiffy.

~Dan

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