Concert Review: A Tribe Called Red

Last night, A Tribe Called Red warmed up a sold-out Corona Theatre with their upbeat electro-tribal beats. The three DJs of the group, NDN, Bear Witness and 2oolman worked alongside each other, but were rarely the center of attention. Often accompanying them on stage were 2 native dancers and a group of multicultural hip-hop and break dancers, including famous b-boy Montrealer Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli.

2016 has been a major year for A tribe Called Red, having released their third album, We Are The Halluci Nation, arguably their best album to date. The trio has gone from attracting new crowds at each show, to continuously growing their loyal fanbase. What seemingly started as another artist project has turned into something much larger: music with an important message and lesson. A tribe Called Red has created music, that respectfully and positively incorporates native culture and encourages talk about native issues.

The trio kept talking and interacting with the audience to a minimal, only thanking the crowd every few tracks. Behind their long table setup, were projections from various native and tribal cartoons from television shows and movies as well as some international clips, including the New Zealand all black rugby team performing the Maori Haka. And although there were some technical glitches a few times, the projections gave the audience a fuller experience and connection to the tribal essence of the music.

It’s not common to learn any cultural lessons of this sort at a concert, but A Tribe Called Red allows the audience to immerse themselves in an environment that both entertains and teaches.

Photo by Quinn Aebi.

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