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March the 2nd, 2013, marked the end of Perth Festival at Chevron Festival Gardens,with what is known as The Antibalas, to conquer the main stage and the audience’s ears and sight.The Antibalas is a rare kind of band, playing music known as Afro Jazz, or Afrobeat. They are based in Brooklyn, New York, and have a diversity of nationalities within the group.
The Antibalas’ music at Perth Festival was outstanding. It was both lyrical and instrumental, featured technical musical skills that is as organized as a bee hive, instrumentally wise, and it had a great message, and purpose lyrically wise .
The Antibalas came to Perth, Australia with 11 of their musicians, that were as tight on stage as a Brazilian Football team, where they both have in common are skills and groove.
Their formation was 4-4-2-1 which consisted of a brass section that included: trombone, trumpet, tenor saxophone and Martin Perna–the founder of the Antibalas– on bari saxophone. As for the guitar and keys section, it included: rhythm and lead guitar, bass guitar and keys. Since the band is an Afrobeat, the most important section is the percussion with Amayo–the lead singer on the congas–and Marcus Farrar on the Shekere, and lastly their time keeper–Miles Arntzen–on the drums.
The Antibalas have nine album records that have made a big success with their latest song “Dirty Money,” that has made a fuss around the scene. Listening to The Anitbalas’ records does not do them any justice. The band shows what they’ve really got in live performances like this one. One would be in the center of confusion to either talk about their music perfection or their music creativity, because metaphorically speaking both are two different books that The Antibalas have read to their audience on stage with a lot of onomatopoeia and imagery. The group played at least 10 songs of which some were familiar, and other songs that were not, though all the songs appeared as if they were being composed on stage, and that was what caught the attention of many.
Being an Afro Jazz band, The Antibalas have a responsibility to move the listeners to their groove, which was not a hard thing to do, considering their musical abilities and the African rhythms that filled the atmosphere .
It is really a challenge to give The Antibalas justice in just once article, but one can sure say that Perth Festival 2013 really saved the best for the last.
The Antibalas Line Up :