Spanish for “bulletproof”, Antibalas is a full and lively Afrobeats band that also incorporates jazz, improvisation, and dub reggae. The band has a large cast, with fifteen members playing a wide variety of instruments, some occasionally shifting; they have consistently had Martin Perna on alto sax, and Duke Amayo on vocals. The band started out in Harlem in 1998 playing at a poetry night organized by famous visual artist Xaviera Simmons. They played only on non-commercial sets for their first year. Overtime they gained much renown, touring all over the United States and the world. They have appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel and collaborated with Bruno Mars to perform Uptown Funk on Saturday Night Live!
With over ten EPs and seven studio albums, Antibalas has a lot of work to explore. Their first album Liberation Afrobeat Vol. 1 was released in 2000, exemplifying Antibalas as a protest band ready to speak the truth; their third album Who is This America? and other works pursue this further. Their most current album, Fu Chronicles came out this year and is inspired by Amayo’s upbringing. As a child, and ever since, he has studied martial arts, and this album is a way to combine afrobeats, and Kung Fu for a unique and pumped up album.
Antibalas is a huge part of the modern Afrobeat culture, and you can’t mention it without them. Be sure to be blown away by their performance live!
Thursday, September 17, 2020
General admission $22 advance, $25 at venue
3734 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
More information here
Purchase tickets here