Photos

Atomic Bomb! The Music Of William Onyeabor Live With David Byrne, Sinkane, The Lijadu Sisters, Dev Hynes + More

Atomic Bomb! The Music Of William Onyeabor hit NYC as a part of RBMA with David Byrne, Sinkane, the Lijadu Sisters, Money Mark, Hot Chip, Dev Hynes + more.

As promised, Luaka Bop's Atomic Bomb! The Music Of William Onyeabor hit stateside this weekend as a part of Red Bull Music Academy NYC at BAM. Far more than a concert, the live tribute was a 2-hour incarnation of one of our favorite releases of the past year — a larger-than-life realization of everything we've come to know and love from Onyeabor mania right before our eyes. The sermon of reimagined electro-synth fittingly began with words from NYC street preacher Rufus Cannon before the Atomic Bomb! band launched into a tantric-funk rendition of album opener "Body And Soul." Musical director Ahmed Gallab of Sinkane started on the mic backed by the full Atomic Bomb! house band, featuring a very bouncy and delightful Money Mark on the keys, Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem) and Jay Tram on the drums, a crowd-pleasing percussion section with Lekan Babalola and talking-drum player Kofo the Wonderman, bassist Ish Montgomery, and guitarist Jonny Lam. One song in and the three-tiered BAM opera house was on its toes.


From that point on, the night became a dream list of live collaborations and surprise tricks, including an appearance from New York subway dance crew W.A.F.F.L.E. NYC. First up came the silky-smooth dancing of Blood Orange mastermind Dev Hynes, who was soon joined on stage for a high-powered duet of "Good Name" by Hot Chip frontman Alexis Taylor.  The Lijadu Sisters, fantastically dressed as ever, reunited on stage with a show-stopping performance of "Fantastic Man" alongside David Byrne and Central Park's phenomenal rollerskaters. Later on, the sisters would play a a rendition of their 1976 hit song "Danger." Donning the brightest of the ten-gallon hats, Talking Heads frontman and Luaka Bop founder Byrne brought his virtuoso-like presence– though perhaps even more incredible to witness was the fact that he remained on stage as a supporting member of the Atomic Bomb! band  throughout the duration of the night. The supergroup orchestra came out in full force one last time for an ultra high energy, Dev Hynes-fronted "When The Going Is Smooth And Good" finale. On that note we tip our hats off to the whole Atomic Bomb! band for bringing the music of William Onyeabor to its full spiritual potential live in NYC 30 years after the fact.

Photos by Jake Salyers

Popular

How Technology Is Playing a Crucial Role in the #EndSARS Protests

Young people in Nigeria have successfully managed to use technological innovations to organize and make the #EndSARS protests run incredibly efficiently and easily. This moment will go down in history as a revolution that was birthed via technology.

It has been more than a week since young people in Nigeria took to the streets to demand that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, infamously known as SARS, be scrapped for good. Created in 1992, this police unit was originally set up to beat back armed robbery, the use of firearms and rising cases of kidnappings that grew in the late eighties. However, the unit went rogue, becoming more notorious for its savagery than actual crime-fighting. With a rap sheet ranging from profiling, harassment and assault to, in more extreme cases, slaughtering innocent citizens, these quasi-officers have unleashed terror on the nation for more than two decades.

Their victims are predominantly young Nigerians profiled on appearance—whether they drive exotic vehicles, use the latest gadgets, have their hair dyed or locked, or have piercings. In some cases, working in tech often gets conflated with financial fraud. For people who don't meet the absurd criteria, the mood of the officer can often become the difference between life and death.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Emile YX? Wants to 'Reconnect The String'

The father of South African hip-hop's latest book release is here to teach you about the culture.