Summer crowd at Lincoln Center

The combination of a warm summer breeze, flashing lights, and an energetic buzz drifts over the audience as they wait for the world premier of Red Hot + FELA LIVE!. There can be nothing more adrenaline-filled than the music of Tony Allen, Superhuman Happiness, and more outstanding artists.

The concert started out with the premier of electro-acoustic soundtracks of the Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague, performed by Superhuman Happiness. The music was overall very contemporary in its use of electronic overtones. The fact that it was slow-paced also gave the atmosphere of oddity, strangeness, and tension. Superhuman Happiness’s performance was well done, however I strongly disagreed with the choice to have these soundtracks be the opening of the performance. Many people did not know that the concert had even started, and it tired out some audience members.

Aside from this slow-paced beginning, the gradual climax and increase of energy made people want to stay till the very last note was played. As more and more performers joined in, one could not simply just sit and watch any longer. My friends and I ran up with many other audience members to move along and be a part of this two hour jazzy, afrobeat, and hip-hop musical adventure. Tony Allen’s music cannot be defined as any single genre at the moment, for he has created a new genre of the 21st century, praised and loved by many.

The first impression of this concert was to be slow and uneventful; but as most general first impressions are usually wrong, so was this. Overall, Red Hot + FELA LIVE was a wonderful way to celebrate the cooler of these July nights, and if a time ever arises where they perform again, it is recommended that anyone and any age to watch.