Bonobo Brings The Festival Indoors At First Ave Sunday Night


Bonobo brought a bit of the festival spirit indoors after a dreary weekend in the Twin Cities. The band brought their Migration tour to a sold out Mainroom at First Ave on Sunday night. Bonobo is Simon Green, and Migration is his sixth album spanning a 17 plus year career. Bonobo’s sound can be described as jamtronica, a mashup of electronica with a more downbeat feel, laced with extended jams. Green’s breakout album, The Northern Borders, was a chart topper in Europe in 2013. Migration, Bonobo’s latest, has been called called much more ambitious, a global journey which pulls in arrangements of different cultures to create a unified world of music.

Supporting Bonobo was Fakear, who brought the French electronica jams to Minneapolis. Fakear is Theo Le Vigoureux, the offspring of music teachers, and it shows. Leaning heavy on vocal samples, Fakear had the crowd dancing with his interplay between bouncing rhythms and keyboards. These were solid compositions, with layers of rhythm and counter rhythm. There was an unmistakable global feeling to these songs, and the 40-minute set had the audience captivated.

 Bonobo came on too much anticipation at 915. Simon, brandishing a mighty bass, took center stage behind two keyboards. He was accompanied by a large assortment of musicians, including  brass, guitar, drums and keyboards. This was electronica on steroids, but it’s the bass that pounds you in the chest like a sledge hammer. Huge screens behind the band pulsated with complex visuals, oscillating in time with the rhythm. Vocalist Szjerdene Mulcare has a beautiful, smokey voice that cut through the huge sounds of the band. Her version of No Reason was jaw dropping. This music is a huge aural assault to all of your senses. Overall, the show brought a fun, festival like feel to the Mainroom. People were dancing all over the mezzanine and around the merch tables.  I could definably see these guys bringing it to any outdoor venue. This show was a great segway to the festival season that is upon us. 

Set List: Migration – 7th Seven – Break Apart – Towers – Kiara / TT / Kong – Surface – First Fires – Bambro – Cirrus – Flashlight – WCF – No Reason – Sapphire – Ontario – Figures – Kerala – Transits – Know You