Femi Kuti, Brazillian Girls @ Central Park Summerstage

I just love New York in the summertime. The heat, the girls in cute skirts, outdoor eating and drinking, and of course the free concerts. This was one of the highlights of Summerstage and my first time seeing Femi Kuti.

This day was hot hot hot. The air was thick and menacing and an impending rain loomed but never came. Lower East Siders The Brazillian Girls opened up and it was my 1st time seeing them as well. They had garnered a lot of hype this year so I was excited to see what they were all about because I really wasn’t impressed with their recordings. And well, the hype is for their live shows, as that’s where the energy and sexiness comes out. Sabina is a great performer and singer. She has a deep warm voice and sings in various languages. Their songs are hard to describe as they go from sleepy summer songs to electro dance jams. When they started to play their song “Pussy, Pussy, Marijuana” the rain finally came down, and it came down hard. The crowd went nuts and it helped everyone cool off. Overall, I enjoyed the mix of live instruments and electronic sounds, but it’s Sabine that ties it altogether.

Femi Kuti up next and we were sure to be in the front row for him. Femi is the son of legendary Nigerian music pioneer Fela Kuti, and he is worthy of following in his footsteps. He’s added another dimension to the music that his father has made famous and popular to the rest of the world. He brought a very large ensemble with him including his dancers that never stopped gyrating. I loved all the polyrhythmic sounds coming from the stage. The mix of jazz, afro beat, and strong lyrics got the whole crowd dancing. Femi was nonstop action. Constantly running back and forth on stage. Singing, playing sax, dancing. He was dripping with sweat and the heat never seemed to affect him. He played for over an hour and a half and wanted to keep going but the Summerstage folks discreetly booted him off. BLAH! During the performance he even brought out his son to play a few songs on his sax. It’s good to know that the legacy and the power of his dad’s music will be continued on.