Orchestre Poly-Rythmo at the Cedar on July 10th. This is a rather big band …
As expected, this was a rather large band, ten band members, playing a variety of instruments including a couple of saxophones, keys, and shekere. They traded off vocals to about four of the ten members, but everyone had their moment to shine on their respective instruments.
Mélomé Clément was introduced as the band leader (the only band member dressed in all white), but I felt that Vincent Ahehehinnou was the center of attention as the star main vocalist.
As you can see from their set list, it looked like it wouldn't last more than 30 minutes, but the truth is, their songs are extra long and they easily filled up at least two hours. Highlight of the show for me was when they had three women come on stage to boogie down near the end of "Gbeti Madjor".
Their afrobeat/funk sound reminded me a lot of when I saw Seun Kuti (son of Afrobeat's pioneer Fela Kuti).
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou will finish their US dates this July. Come out to see them if they're playing in your area.
07/13/12 Toronto, ON Harbourfront Centre
07/15/12 Louisville, KY Forecastle Festival
07/19/12 Brooklyn, NY BAM R&B Festival
07/20/12 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
07/22/12 New York, NY Summerstage
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou at the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis (07/10/12)