Bridgetown Sound: “Review: The Chicago Afrobeat Project”

July 2, 2012

This article originally appeared on the Bridgetown Sound.

“You’re in for a treat” I heard the doorman say on my way down to the basement of the Goodfoot.  And boy did I know and was I ready. .  It was refreshing to see that this band had left a lingering legacy at a venue known for having some of the best instrumentalists in the country.  Saturday night marked my third time being treated by the swinging sounds of the Chicago Afrobeat Project, but the first time to see them outside of the Midwest.  More importantly however, it was my first time hearing songs on their upcoming album, “Nyash Up” which will be released in August.

As we grab our seats before the band started, we were joined by a friendly couple that were also feeding off of the positive energy and good vibes that only the Goodfoot can produce so consistently.  After a quick, random conversation about all things weird, we hear the baritone sax bust into a riff and the rest of the band join in on the second measure.  The concert had started and moved as gracefully in the first 5 minutes as it did in the last 5.

Being that they are a heavy instrumentalist band with limited singing, they space their songs out for about ten to fifteen minutes each to give everyone a chance to chime in with a solo.  And CAbP had plenty to give the audience with these leads.   The alto sax was smooth and sexy while the baritone came in and roughed it up a bit.  The drum solos were on John Bonham’s level and the organ player was very traditional with respect to any band that played prior to Woodstock.  But the guitarist was what made things unique, due to the grungy southern rock he added to the show.  Also, the MC was the coolest person I’ve ever seen.

They played two sets with about a fifteen minute breather/smoke break, and all in all played for about two and a half hours.  Their first set included a tad bit slower tunes but recognizable sing-alongs where their African base sound thrives.  Most notable the song “I’d go to the doctor but I’m uninsured.”  The second set was prime time.  It began with a Radiohead and KRS one mash up of the song “Just Like That.”  Then they topped things off with their funkiest and most dance inducing grooves “Jukuba” and “Taking Bush.”  These are fun filled songs that put you in the mood to swing dance.  When it came time to leave, I exited the Goodfoot barely able to move my legs and wondering if I just had sex.

So if that’s how you feel after leaving a show then definitely be on the lookout for the Chicago Afrobeat Project in the future.

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