Live Review: Shabazz Palaces

Words: Rui Correia // Pictures: Joana Domingues

Rainy Friday in the holy land, was the perfect prelude to a blessed concert. Shabazz Palaces attended to GNRation (right in the heart of Braga), serving a generous new rap path. A half-hour concert of this duo from Seattle would be probably enough to understand a little more of all the possibilities that their music can offer us, but it turned into two hours of faultless sonic psychedelia, which will serve to create a mystique around the group. The harmony between Ishmael and Tendai is remarkable – from the careful introduction of features that fulfill their music to thechoreography played without blinking -, that’s how they form their interaction with the public.
A cohesive set that brought together more than two dozen themes were engaging the only two albums released to date – Black Up and Lese Majesty – serving to clarify one thing: the conceptual superiority of the new album. Songs such as “Motion Sickness” and “An Echo From The Hosts That Profess Infinitum” grow live with the introduction of the marimba instrument from which Tendai is a master.

These connections between ancient instruments and Ishmael’s diffused voice wrapped in technology, create a unique link from the present to the past of African culture. This is how the Shabazz Palaces performed and fired: challenging the audience to find itself in time and space.

If the public were Catholic, they would make Shabazz the new patron saints. Believing not be the case, we left the show at least with a more completed soul than when we entered.


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