Catching up on a few shows I’ve seen in the last few weeks… in no particular order.
Red Baraat: I’m not always very good at deciding what genre any given band is, but they describe themselves as “Bhangra Funk Dhol’n’Brass.” (I’m not sure that really helps!) The eight-piece band consists entirely of percussion and brass. This was a classic case of a good band that isn’t really up my alley; they had the crowd excited and dancing for most of the set, but for my taste I would have jettisoned the dance/hip-hop influence. My ears would have liked more of the brass band sound. That said, it was still a fun and danceable show. You can check out their NPR Tiny Desk concert here:
Local band Evolfo Doofeht opened for them, and I was having a hard time making up my mind about their set. They described themselves as “gypsy funk” – I probably would have liked them more if the gypsy part was more prominent. To me it sounded like pretty straight up funk/R&B type music. In parts it was too smooth and clean for me, but in parts I thought they really had some promise. They are a pretty young band, so they might be one to keep an eye on if they develop in the right directions. I’d suggest spending more effort on their solos than their costumes, for a start – no one is going to be impressed with the trombonist’s furry purple suit if he can’t musically knock it out of the park. (Well… maybe a LITTLE impressed. It was awfully purple.)
The Red Baraat/Evolfo Doofeth concert was also my first time at the Sinclair, a new Harvard Square venue. I had heard a lot of “it’s like the House of Blues, but small” and I can definitely see that, although I think the smallness has solved a lot of the problems plaguing the House of Blues. I actually really liked it as a mid-size venue – definitely nicer than the Middle East Downstairs (and far better sound), and a little more sophisticated than Brighton Music Hall (and a lot more convenient to me). I need more visits to make up my mind, but (more…)