The effects of last Tuesday’s Balkan Beat Box show were so… overwhelming I can only begin this review with disconnected words and sensations:
Swarthiness. Beauty. Back bending/chest-to-the-air-shaking. Colorful scarves. Bangle earrings. Unironic facial hair. Purple clothing everywhere (shout-out to Gogol!). Gypsies. Hooplah. Hands up. Lights down.
To give more of a narrative:
I got to the show in time to see DJ Who Am I (who is only slightly behind the band “Boys” in unsearchable Google names) who is, first and foremost, stunning. She’s this neat little, long-haired,
super-hip girl rocking out accompanied by nothing more than a beer, a computer, a smartphone (used to take pictures of the screaming crowd), and some sweet arm cuffs. You want to see someone with a
patented bend-back-and-shake-what-you-got at the ceiling? You need to see DJ Who Am I live.
Next came Balkan Beat Box (BBB). First of all, kudos to them for a great entrance. They sent one guy, clothed in a hoodie and large sunglasses on stage with his guitar. He took a seat on the one piece of furniture: a sofa, and just started playing like he was about to launch into a laid back acoustic set.
About 25 seconds later the other five guys bounded on stage and lit up the 9:30 Club. Two saxes, one fedora-wearing drummer, a guitarist (or was he a bassist? I never can tell the differerence… such a consistent fail on my part), and the lead man (Tomer, I believe?) free-styled, sang, clapped, and sang to an insanely pumped-up crowd. (The great part was the first guy just sat on the sofa, calmly toe-tapping in his shades the entire time.)
The group played several of their hits, including my favorite, Part of the Glory (love the refrain: everyone likes to do what they like/like me on the mic).
The ONE little bummer (for me) was BBB’s insistence on mixing politics with music. They told a story and played a song criticizing American airlines and their manipulation of immigration/travel laws, Miss Paranoia, which I thought took away from the energy of the show. That being said, if I had had a message to deliver and I’d found myself in front of a packed and adoring crowd, I probably would have indulged in a little soapbox action myself.
All in all a great time.