Concert Review: Arooj Aftab, July 8, Axis Club

Arooj Aftab is a Grammy award winning artist making beautiful music that straddles the lines between folk, jazz, classical, Sufi and probably a few other genres. But what a lot of people who’ve only heard her on record may not know is that she’s also incredibly funny in concert, offering up plenty of deadpan humour between songs over the course of her entire set at Axis Club on Friday night.

The jokes started early, with Aftab taking to the stage to start off her show, looking at a wine glass and remarking, “This shouldn’t be empty.” She would go on to describe her misadventures before the show, which included her limo driver recommending a restaurant (“It was terrible”) and what it was like to drop into the middle of the “weird internet apocalypse” that was enveloping much of the nation on that day. A little later in the set, she asked where the after party was, wondered where Drake might hang out and also took a good natured shot at the fans up front “making these videos of me from a really shitty angle. I see you … I don’t want to be tagged in those.” Another element of her show that was probably at least a litle bit ironic and tongue in cheek was her periodically throwing roses into the crowd, though the crowd certainly seemed to take it pretty seriously. A lot of people were really gunning to get those roses.

Aftab and her top notch band put on a gorgeous and absolutely mesmerising show focusing on numbers off of her latest album Vulture Prince, which she described as “our attempt at making sexy music out of sad music.” She went on to say that with everything the way it is in the world right now, maybe the moment is right for really sad music to start ruling the top 40 charts. And though it’s still yet to be determined if Arooj Aftab will have a breakthrough Top 40 hit, she certainly charmed the crowd at Axis Club on this evening.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts