Scenes From Last Night's Shabazz Palaces Show At Granada Theater.
Last night Shabazz Palaces made their return to Granada Theater. Their last time through town was the inaugural Gorilla v. Bear festival back in 2011. Shabazz is touring with fellow Seattle groups THEESatisfaction and Malitia Mali Mob.
Shabazz make music that's had to pin down into a genre. Like their support Thee Satisfaction, they mix genres at will and create a fresh sound that owes to it's inspiration but moves past it.
Formerly of Digable Planets, Ishmael Butler formed Shabazz Palaces with instrumentalist Tendai Maraire in 2009, deftly fusing hip-hop, Afro-beat, and electronic music while somehow avoiding cliches. Wisely, Butler likes to let the music speak for itself, preferring to perform rather than talk about the work. The crowd didn't seem to mind too much, though, judging from the the amounts of dancing that went on during the band's typical high energy set. Watching Maraire playing a variety of different instruments provided yet another interesting visual.
THEESatisfaction, self proclaimed “Black Weirdos”, Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris White avoid the style of other neo-soul/r&b artists. They perform a stripped back fusion of soul, r&b and hip hop that is really hard not to bump your head to.
Malitia Mali Mob, who come to Seattle via Somalia, are a hip hop duo that have appropriated Somali pirate culture and iconography as a means of forging a more powerful social identity. They brought out the Somali flag during their set and talk briefly about the misunderstanding we have of the pirates there.
It's hard to say why the crowd was so light last night, but the fact that so much time has passed since their last Dallas stop might be at least partially to blame. Regardless, all three bands managed rather interesting performances that showcased why they've been so integral in shaping the face of Seattle's music scene as of late.
At the end of the night, it was fun to just dance your ass off and have fun with everyone who did show up rather than worrying about those that didn't. And really, isn't that what it's all about anyway?