The Sound in Focus free concert series at the courtyard of the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City is always a great time. But don’t just take my word for it – peep for yourself with these full-song videos from the trio of killer bands who played at last weekend’s show.
Local electro-pop duo Classixx started the show off in fine fashion, featuring selections from their sophomore album, Faraway Reach, including the single, “Just Let Go.” The vibraphone gets a nice feature spot on this one, demonstrating the band’s talent for blending technology with organic instruments.
Although featuring vocalist How to Dress Well wasn’t there in person for “Just Let Go,” Sean Guerin of De Lux did make a special guest appearance on the KCRW favorite, “In These Fine Times,” proving how much of a fine time the Sound in Focus concerts are!
Brazilian Girls were up next, and although there’s actually only one girl in the band, she’s all they need, as frontwoman Sabina Sciubba is inevitably the coolest person in the room (or the beautiful outdoor park, as the case should be), as their latest single, “The Critic,” demonstrates.
For “Bala Bala,” Sabina visited the crowd, while the band engaged in a groovy, percussive workout on this live favorite. Like the best of bands, Brazilian Girls have a knack for being spontaneous, while still paying full-attention to the music, giving everyone the feeling that magic is being made in front of their eyes!
Finally Senegalese artist Baaba Maal and his stellar band hit the stage and dominated. On “Fulani Rock” he stalked the stage like the boss he is, offering up his soaring vocals while his band cooked, from the swirling guitar licks that start the track to the talking drum player serving as Maal’s hype man!
Maal even featured a duet with the talking drum (I guess that’s why they call it the “talking” drum), in the intro to “Djarabi.” It truly was a wonderful African party, and a perfect way to close the evening. But there’s still more fun to be had, as Nas and Wild Belle close out the whole series this Saturday, starting in the late afternoon. It is bound to be the can’t-miss show of the season, so make sure to get there early to guarantee admission. Then you too can say you were there when comparing notes with your friends as to their favorite moments of summer 2016!
ERIC J. LAWRENCE