Monday 8 August 2016

On Stage: Tony Allen @ Paradiso Tolhuistuin

The Dekmantel festival is a yearly festival for electronic music on a beautiful location in Amsterdam, the huge Amsterdamse Bos park. It's not exactly my cup of tea, but the festival is renowned for having a cutting edge program. This year they have a series of opening shows around town and to my surprise one of them featured Tony Allen. Needles to say I wanted to go there.

Tony Allen, Dekmantel opening show at Paradiso Tolhuistuin Amsterdam, August 4 2016

The Nigerian drummer and afrobeat inventor is one of my favourite musicians and to see and hear him live is a delight. He's turning 76 in a few days, but is still going strong. It's the same band that I saw play a few times before, the last time in Barcelona at Primavera Sound a year ago. The band starts off a bit slow and so does the crowd. It looks like both have to get used to each other. It is maybe a different crowd than the band is used to and the people here may also not go see a band like this a lot.

In the end the people visiting this festival besides dancing to DJs and electronic music and partying, have an open mind to music. That's something you can leave to Tony Allen who likes to see the people dance. His grooves and afrobeat music are perfect for it, so it doesn't take long for people to start shaking it. It's always wonderful to see this master play the drums. His light touch, his subtle playing and his irresistible grooves are unique. He doesn't stick to just regular afrobeat, but you can hear he's also exploring his possibilities and keeps developing his sound.

The rest of the band get enough room to play as well and we get treated to some nice horns, keyboard and guitar solos. At the end of the show Amp Fiddler joins the party as well and this show is now getting really hot. Allen himself is looking pleased too, with a big smile on his face. Unfortunately this show was only scheduled for an hour, so by the time everyone is on fire it's time to close up. Hopefully I will get to see this wonderful musician many times to come.

All Pictures

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