Two Nights of Toubab: 12.1.10 Boulder, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By J-man & Carly Marthis

There are very few bands on the scene that excite me and energize me like Toubab Krewe. The combination of innovation, African rhythms, peaks, and all out energy make them one of the most unique and innovative bands on the scene today. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do a two night run with this amazing group of talented musicians.

Wednesday 12.01.10- Fox Theater; Boulder, CO

That evening would mark my first show at The Fox Theater, and who better to break it in with than Toubab, my girlfriend/photographer, my good friend and scene legend; Murray as well as professional space fairy, Sasha? We arrived at the venue around 10:30 pm and the opener was just wrapping up. I was in a good place as Toubab took the stage, for I knew from previous experiences; there wasn't a chance that they were going to let us down.

Per usual Toubab came out with an unmistakable energy. Justin Perkins attacked the kora with precision and fury, sending the crowd into a tribal sway. Enter Luke Quarenta on Djembe and other various percussive instruments, and the theater was moving. There is something about the combination of the drums and kora that stimulates my mind, and reassures me that their is hope for roots music within the bounds of todays musical realm.

With the sonic addition of Teal Brown on drums, Drew Heller on guitar and David Pransky on bass; Toubab's sound is elevated to that of a modern sounding rock band.

I've noticed that on recent recordings Toubab has been turning up the intensity. They sounded energized as of late and that night in Boulder was no different. There was a noticeable contrast in the highs and lows of the jams. The peaks we more frequent and developed than what I had ever heard from Toubab, though they spent a considerable amoutn of time focusing on the other side of that as well. The result was a lot of slow almost psychedelic sounding music, with drew focusing a lot on the surf guitar effect.

Toubab played one long set and was on par with everything that I had come to expect from the band. I thought they sounded the most tuned in of any time I have seen them. One thing that stood out to me specifically was their communication. The eye contact and nods were subtle and reflected a certain comfort with one and other.

The show concluded with a collective drum jam. Tribal in it's nature and layered with percussive goodness, Toubab had the Fox Theater going absolutely crazy. It's times like these when I am able to look around and really appreciate the connected nature of our scene. Where it's ok to close your eyes and let loose, without the fear of judgement or shame. To just be ourselves and feel what is being provided for us though creative energy and passion.

"How could Toubab top themselves tomorrow night in Denver?" I thought. Little did I know; I was about to find out...

J-man's Photo Gallery from the show.


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