LastNight: Femi Kuti at the Fillmore

Femi Kuti

July 21, 2007

Fillmore, SF

Better Than: Seeing a Fela cover band

Download: A Femi Kuti stream off his MySpace

Text and Photos By Eric K. Arnold

A Femi Kuti show isn’t a concert, it’s a ritual; Songs aren’t played as much as experienced, and the music’s ultimate goal seems to be a harmonic convergence of mind, body, and spirit under a tribal groove.

During Saturday night’s show, Fela’s son played maybe seven or eight tunes total over the course of almost two and a-half hours – unusual for pop music, but de rigeur for Afrobeat. At that pace, there was plenty of time for Femi’s band Positive Force to gel, and all evening, dense polyrhythms kept building and building to continually-higher levels of intensity.

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