In order to see one of the most diverse groups of people gathered in one place, you only need go to a Thievery Corporation concert. All ages, ethnicities, and types of music fans gathered together at the first of three sold-out shows at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC.
The queue began at about 6:30, though the doors did not open until one hour later. However, waiting was entertaining enough, since a camera crew hired by Thievery was interviewing the DJs and their singers, as well as the waiting fans, including yours truly, for a possible DVD release some time in the future. They asked people if they had seen Thievery live before, how they would define their music, the craziest things they had seen at a show (bar people smoking a certain illegal substance), etc.
At 10:30, following another 3-hour wait with no opening act, Eric Hilton, Rob Garza and company made a triumphant return to their hometown stage, seeming at ease with the adoring crowd. In fact, they seemed a little too at ease, if you know what I mean.
I was curious to see how the DJs would fill in for the megastars who sang for tracks on The Cosmic Game, such as Perry Ferrell and Wayne Coyne. Punjabi singer Gunjan actually performed the songs she sang on the album, and stole the show with her soprano, otherworldly vocals. As always, the show featured longtime French singer Loulou and the Jamaican rastafarians known as See-I, who always know how to work the crowd into a frenzy. While Emiliana Torrini was not performing, a young Brazilian singer, Princess Carina, was her equal in style and stage presence, and her sensual performance of "Exilio (Exile)" beckoned the crowd to join her in singing "A la la la le, lo le lo le, lo le lo la la la." The only regrettable vocal performance was that of Sista Pat, who substituted for Perry Ferrell on "Revolution Solution." While her soulful style worked for "Wires and Watchtowers," it sounded much too choppy and gospel-like for an otherwise trippy song. Of course, not many could outdo Ferrell for trippy.