Sound In Focus Recap: Nas + Wild Belle

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This year’s edition of the Sound in Focus concert series wrapped up spectacularly this past Saturday night, despite inauspicious beginnings.   All day the skies were darkened by smoke from the terrible fires in the northern part of LA County, lending an apocalyptic look to the heavens and warnings of record-breaking high temperatures and unhealthy air quality from the authorities.   

Century City Park's twin towers cutting through the smokey air.
Century Park’s twin towers cutting through the smokey air. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Undeterred, hundreds of concert-goers arrived at the Annenberg Space for Photography and the Century Park courtyard to find perfectly comfortable weather for a night out with friends, all under an orange-tinted, open-air canopy that not even Hollywood’s best special-effects wizards could manufacture!



KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad set the tone with an opening set of smooth grooves, perfectly suited for a leisurely picnic with friends.

Up next was brother and sister-act Wild Belle, who brought the masses a baker’s dozen tracks from their two acclaimed albums.

WildBelle_LarryTheir sound, which mixes a brand of groovy indie rock with elements of reggae and electronic pop, gave ample opportunity for gentle swaying or lawn relaxing.



But make no mistake: complete with an expanded line-up that included what looked like some sweet conga drums and some tasty baritone sax, Wild Belle helped make tracks like the KCRW favorite, “Throw Down Your Guns,” especially memorable.


FrontAfter a brief break, where anticipation built to a fever pitch, hip-hop legend Nas finally took the stage. 


It is always remarkable to see how just one guy (and his trusty DJ) can hold a stage, but if anyone can, it is Nas, playing tracks from as far back as his 1994 debut album, Illmatic.    And the crowd loved it!   


The final show in our Sound in Focus series was a true celebration of music from all corners, that brought fans of KCRW and Nas together for a spectacular end to our run at the Annenberg Space for Photography



We hope you had as much fun as we did! See you next year!