Good things come to those who wait. Yeah, yeah, we've all heard that before. But fortunately for me, great things came to me at Granada Theater when Shabazz Palaces and THEESatisfaction paid a visit to Dallas. I had been kicking myself for missing Shabazz's last performance nearly two years ago when they played the inaugural Gorilla vs. Bear festival. So when I saw their comeback date scheduled, I knew I had to go.
My first impression of this show was, "Wow, Granada really swung for the fences". After seeing photos of Shabazz from shows within a couple weeks prior to their Dallas gig, they were playing in some pretty small spaces, nothing near the size of Granada (more like Dada or the Loft). But I get it. The relationship between Granada and Gorilla vs. Bear (who presented the show) seems to be pretty tight-knit and booking an alum of GvB only seemed fitting at Granada. Plus, it also gave the crowd a chance to see them perform in a proper venue with proper sound and a proper light display.
I have heard of THEESatisfaction and have heard a few of their songs but had no idea of what their group consisted of. Essentially it's the two members, Stasia "Stas" Iron and Catherine "Cat" Harris-White, plus a backing track. Two mic stands with two ladies standing behind them. That's pretty much it. But you could tell they have a lot of fun with it. Swaying side to side then jumping into choreographed dance movements, something you would see in a boy band music video. I couldn't tell you the name of any of the tracks played, but I was pretty impressed with their overall set, even for as simple as it was.
If you don't know, Shabazz Palaces is a duo (even though I think most people think it's a guy). Ishmael Butler pretty much runs the show alongside Tendai Maraire but one without the other and their sound simply doesn't work. Tendai provides a great deal of additional percussion not heard in the studio tracks which makes the tracks come alive. Butler, standing in front of his Macbook and sampler, provides all lead vocals and helps control the digital aspects of each backing track. Together, they bum-rushed their way through their acclaimed 2011 release, Black Up, with the help of THEESastisfaction on a handful of tracks. Even though the Granada was not full this night, a decent-sized crowd formed (I'm assuming their largest of this tour) and stayed through their entire set and then some. Coming back for an encore, the group tested some new tracks, which can only mean that they're working on a new album. I hope they are so they can hurry back to Dallas and the Granada. Great show. Photos and a video of the show are below:
Shabazz Palaces / THEESatisfaction @ Granada Theater, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 1:24:00 PM Rating: