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Sylvan Esso at the Commodore Ballroom

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Vieux Farka Toure at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg

Vieux Farka Toure at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Aug 4 2010. Michelle Slota photo

Vieux Farka Toure at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Aug 4 2010. Michelle Slota photo

Review – Vieux Farka Toure at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Aug 4 2010

– by eugene osudars

Last night
at The WECC
something
happened
akin
to a religious
experience

the slow,ly
(trance,like)
building dance
grooves
of Vieux Farka Toure
and his band

ripping bluesy,
soul,lifting
guitar solos
over (dance trance
inducing) repetitive
percussive
beats

like a swirling
high
unknown
to users

Dervish dancers
know the high

African movers
know the high

Ukrainian dancers
know the high

dancers
always
experience
the high

just dance

let go,

of the sleep,walking
numbness

Toure’s music is
like a desert walk
to Paradise

(discovering
an oasis
in the TV age,
52 inch
flat screen
computer
blackberry
iphone
cellphone
glow,phone,

it’s all the same,

consuming
more and more
variations of
TV and the disconnect
from community,

from the spiritual
dance
of life
love
and spiritual
awareness)

Vieux Farka Toure, vocals, electric guitar
Souleymane Kane, djembe and calabash
Tim Keiper, drums, percussion
Aly Massaga, guitar
Mamadou Sidibe, bass

1 hour 40 minutes
of the hottest
illimitable
dance grooves

paradise
fafa
mali
walaidu
chenelay
sarama
awai womai

a few more songs
too

speaking French
to the audience,

Vieux asked
people to join a lone
dancer
before the 3rd song

(yes, it’s me)

and so they came
one by one and then
by fives and tens

(he waited)

before launching
into another high,
inducing
dance groove

song after song
grooving and moving
some so fast
lifting me into
those moves
learned
in African dance
classes

and playing with them
bending them
all out of shape
into the newness
of now
into the heart and soul
of the groove

always smiling
telling stories
with your eyes
face, arms
hands
as a bird
as a monkey
as an elephant
as a child

the beautiful
dancer.

an audience numbering
160
feeling the movement
up front
on the dance floor
on stage
in their bones

in their yearning souls

hungry
for something different
than the glow
of an electronic box.

Reaching out
and through to new
audiences,

young people
college radio
listeners

the band is playing
alt music venues
like The WECC

and in Vancouver
Monday,
August 9th,

The Biltmore Cabaret,

a perfect venue
for this kind of
dance,

the audience
so close to the players

you can touch them.

a venue
where i’ve danced to
Elliott Brood
You Say Party
Beast
Stereo Total.

dancers gotta dance,

hips twirling
feet grooving
arms and hands
gracefully
swirling
beauty,beautiful
men and
women
smiling
enchanting
spell,
binding
eyes,
glowing

flesh and bones
heartbeats
life
sweat
and heat

not electronics,
circuit,boards
to nothingness

Vieux Farka Toure
is a poetry
written in the beats
the hypnotic rhythm
and guitars.

people singing
strong
together
a community
call and response,
“Chay-
lay.”

and the very next song,
Vieux didn’t initiate
the singing
it just
came
naturally.

we’re singing
and dancing.

and when the set ended

i looked at my watch,

90 minutes

a blur
a wonder
a groove
a high

another band
allowed
to play more than 65 minutes

a searing
10 minute
dance groove
encore

and it was over
100 minutes
and still
the audience
roared
for more

“always leave
them wanting
more”

they wouldn’t return.
no matter how
long we roared
and ROaR we did…

“next year,”
drummer Tim
Keiper assures
me in the lobby
as i walk away.

Vancouverites,
don’t miss this
opportunity

to dance
and get

(unfathomably)

high!

Viuex Farka Toure
WECC
August 4.

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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