By: Jamie Reysen
Rob Myers of Thunderball opened for Bonobo’s live set on Nov. 7 at Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA. He performed a series of unique and eclectic songs off Thunderball’s latest album, 12 Mile High.
Since the new album didn’t drop until Nov. 9, the audience wasn’t familiar with most of Myers’ songs. Regardless, they seemed enthusiastic about his work. Similar in style to the album, the set was a diverse and interesting one, incorporating many different genres and musical influences.
Myers performed “Dub Science,” a song with a classic reggae sound, then transitioned into the Middle Eastern-meets-jazz track, “12 Mile High.” He ended with “Make Your Move,” a soul and funk infused song. Myers looked like he was having a lot of fun performing and kept listeners engaged by talking between songs. Mid-set, he looked around, laughed, and commented on the fact that it was a Sunday night.
He made a good point. While the rest of the Boston area recuperated from the weekend or tackled Monday’s assignments, fans packed the floor and balconies of the small venue. They had one thing left to cross off their weekend agenda.
A live Bonobo concert is reason enough to push those weekday responsibilities back just a little further. Though Bonobo is DJ/producer Simon Green’s stage name, Bonobo live was something else entirely, through which Green became a concert band conductor.
His music was the baton—the guiding force for the several musicians who accompanied him. Each musician was remarkably talented at his craft, whether he played the drums, guitar, keyboard, flute, saxophone, trumpet or trombone.
The performers started strong with “Prelude,” which let the audience know just how live things were about to get. Singer Andreya Triana joined the musicians for several songs, and her live vocals blew away the ones featured on Bonobo’s latest album, Black Sands. Her sexy, melodic voice brought even greater soul and R&B influence to the live performance than it had on Black Sands, and that’s saying something.
The musicians filled the small stage, and their personalities filled the room through their performance. The Paradise is a small venue, but it was the musicians, not the size, that gave the set its personal feel.
“Stay the Same,” “Eyesdown” and hit single “Kiara” were crowd favorites, with Green and the accompanying musicians amplifying the songs’ intensity tenfold.
Though fans had come to see Green, he chose to fade into the background and let the music he produced take center stage. Near the end, he graciously introduced and applauded each musician. Triana then led the crowd in applause for Green.
After all, without the creative genius that is Bonobo, there’d be no “Bonobo live.”
Bonobo live have 14 stops left in North America. They will hit Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Kansas, Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington and Canada before heading back to Europe.
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