Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shakori Spotlight: The Beast

The Beast will be performing at Meadow Stage
on Friday night at 12:30 and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
If one were to give out awards for outstanding performances at Shakori Hills, we might as well go ahead and hand over the weekend's MVP award to The Beast.  It's hard not to be impressed by the jazz driven hip-hop crew, their unrestrained live act is filled with sharp lyricism and tight rhythms.  The Beast makes music for the mind and the body as their lively instrumentation compels concertgoers to let the music flow through them.  MC Pierce Freelon's words seem to morph into an instrument of their own, careening through adventurous vocal patterns that are lined with exuberant imagery.   And this is The Beast on a regular night!  The two sets that the group will be playing at this Spring's Shakori will be far from, "regular".

On Friday night the group will be returning to the Meadow Stage for a performance of massive proportions.  The Beast will be joined by a special Big Band, adding in horns, strings and percussion to the already eclectic mixture of sounds.  A Big Band performance sounds like the ideal experience for an act as expansive as this one.  The Beast's dynamics are already a huge part of their music, and with a wider spectrum of sounds to cover, all of the group's nuances will be more defined.  The group will take the stage at 12:30 on Friday night and will most likely play until the wee hours of the morning for a crowd of anxious listeners.  Whether you're at the foot of the stage or at fireside in the woods, these accomplished jazz musicians will eloquently weave together the introspective intelligence of their lyricism with the primal appeal of their bombastic rhythms to make festival goers dance their night away.

But if one set of massive proportions isn't enough for you, the group will be joined by an immensely talented Panamanian musician, Yomira John.  Yomira has recently worked with MC Pierce Freelon with his fantastic new project, The Beat Making Lab, and the two will come together once again for a compelling live show on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. on the Meadow Stage.  After what's sure to be a brilliant set from Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, the melting pot of music will continue to churn as the jazz-worlds collide with Yomira and The Beast.  Yomira John is known best for her fusion of Afro-Caribbean rhythms with deep Latin influence to provide a musical presentation of the rich diversity of her Panamanian home.  I'm immensely excited for both sets from this incredibly talented group, and with a mere four days left until Shakori I thankfully won't have to wait long for this powerful live show.

Check out the group performing with their Big Band back in 2012 at Motorco:

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