At Langerado Music Festival
Mar. 8, 2008
Seminole Indian Reservation
By Max Tau
As the sun rushed westward and the temperature plummeted, the groovy and the funky came together as Thievery Corporation started their set.
As an occasional fan of their contributions to various film scores, I was admittedly not well versed in the discography of the group. In fact, when I was stuck in three hours of traffic before the show, I attempted to listen to their entire 2005 release The Cosmic Game.
The problem I had was trying not to repeat the track I had just listened to – I was excited.
Thievery Corporation hit the Everglades Main Stage just after sundown. As the crowd grew, so did my anticipation. The set began with the electronic duet of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton accompanied by Ashish Vyas’ grooving bass. The energy mounted as Rootz and Zeebo, MC’s and biological brothers, hit the stage to hype the crowd into fervor.
Rootz and Zeebo also sing for the Washington DC group See-I, which features a downtempo mix of reggae and dub. They have been touring with Thievery since 2005, and come from the same scene in DC.
The duo was the voice for Thievery as Garza and Hilton took the crowd on an international musical journey alongside guitarist and sitarist Rob Myers. While the band was truly amazing, the backbone rested in the bass stylings of Vyas and the horn section.
As the set moved along, it seemed like the crowd grew exponentially, which was nice considering my position and the warmth that it brought. Lifting my girlfriend over my head to scope what was behind us, I couldn’t help but notice a look of disbelief on her face. “Glad I don’t have to pee.” She explained and continued to dance. The highlight for us was when the sitar-driven intro to “Lebanese Blonde” blasted through the speakers and Pam Bricker started accompanying the crowd in a magnificent jam version of Thievery’s 1998 single.
The set culminated with three banging jams from Rootz and Zeebo and an unnamed guest. Promoters began hurling handfuls of multicolored soft glow sticks high into the air, making the crowd look technicolored.
The energy was high and so was the audience, which was seemingly stunned into a peaceful coexistence. One notable difference throughout Langerado was the respect for people’s personal space and proper apologies for that invasion. This reality allowed for everyone to really enjoy the set and just let loose.
Thievery Corporation is slated to release a new untitled album this September on lounge power label ESL.