ACL Live Shot: Antibalas

Zilker Park, Oct. 13

ACL Live Shot: Antibalas
Photo by John Anderson

In the midst of a steady rain, Antibalas founder and saxophonist Martin Perna summed things up perfectly: "This is the right place to be not only because of the tent, but because of the music." Over a decade and a half, Antibalas has mastered its craft, breathing new life into the Afrobeat genre they revere and turning out shows worthy of the Shrine in Lagos. What sometimes gets lost in the horn-driven dance grooves – particularly in a festival setting – is the message. As Fela Kuti once said, music is the weapon, so frontman Duke Amayo came prepared for battle, war paint and all. Just as the Brooklyn band has honed its chops, its decree has sharpened into a fierce indictment of corporate greed and capitalism. "Dirty Money" from this year's eponymous Daptone LP served as opening statement, while unrecorded "Gold Rush" and a cover of Bob Marley's "Rat Race" piled on evidence. "We're gonna end tonight as we began 15 years ago, with the music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti," Perna said before the 12-piece launched into "Gba Mi Leti Ki N'Dolowo (Slap Me Make I Get Money)," a frantic Fela rarity not found on any best-of compilation. And with that, court was adjourned.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Antibalas
ACL Music Fest Saturday Reviews
Antibalas
Antibalas (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, Oct. 12, 2012

ACl Live Shots
Antibalas

Thomas Fawcett, Oct. 3, 2008

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Bill Callahan
Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, June 14, 2019

Texas Platters
Jackie Venson
Joy (Record Review)

Derek Udensi, June 14, 2019

More by Thomas Fawcett
Los Coast Album Review
Los Coast Album Review
Samsara (New West)

June 14, 2019

Hot Luck Music Headliners Dig Into the Festival Menu
Hot Luck Music Headliners Dig Into the Festival Menu
Talking turkey with Archers of Loaf, Erika Wennerstrom, Robert Ellis, Sunflower Bean, the Suffers, and PJ Morton

May 24, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Antibalas

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle