Gigs, dance, art

September 10th, 2010: Napoleon Maddox


If there’s any silver lining to my being so late in posting this, it’s in my being able to say this was my favorite show of the festival. It worked way beyond my expectations, because they managed to strike a very precious balance. Each component — Sophia Domancich, Napoleon Maddox, and Bellatrix and the Boxettes — had an opportunity to shine on its own, while still being a unit when it mattered, and striking a perfect balance between being true to themselves and paying tribute to Nina Simone. I guess it’s just impossible to do the latter without the former, and I just think doing it right is a real challenge. In my book they did pull it off.

Sophia Domancich was left to dispatch the French minefield on her own at one point, and she did OK even though I wish they had skipped that part altogether. I liked that part, but I wish I could have heard her on something less charged. I guess she took one for the team. My loss so far, maybe my gain if it gets me to hear her on her own.

Bellatrix had a few totally amazing spells; I just want to hear her again. Her band is just a genius idea, they have different voices that mesh just right. I’d love to hear them on their own show, doing their own thing.

Napoleon Maddox had a great forefront spell when he brought instant relevance to Nina Simone’s legacy, and he managed to pull it all together into something more than a tribute. More like a celebration and a taking over of what she did, embracing the inconsistencies. All of the above, and then some. A riot called Nina indeed, and that riot is raging on, even if Nina isn’t. How perfect.

September 18, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , , | Leave a comment