Konono No. 1 | Maldita Vecindad @ Central Park Summerstage

Founded over 25 years ago, Konono No. 1 plays Congolese Bazombo trance music using mainly likembés, or thumb pianos. I was amazed at the sound these instruments produce onstage. The band’s sound is complimented by other traditional percussion instruments, but their uniqueness comes from their home-made sound system. Their microphones were built from salvaged car parts, and their percussion section contains various pots, pans, and car parts. By the middle of their set I was entranced into their rhythms amplified by their megaphones and repaired amps. The scorching sun didn’t even slow the crowd down as they danced throughout the entire performance.

I didn’t know Mexico’s Maldita Vecindad, but I left a big fan of their alternative rock music. I did some research and found that they appeared in “Gift” a very crazy film featuring Perry Farrell. The band combines so many genres of music successfully including rock, ska, salsa, and metal. They were very energetic on stage and the crowd fed off the positive vibes from the lead singer. At one point the band invited several fans up on the stage to dance with the band and share the power of live music.
Pictures from the show.