April 05, 2012 Slideshows

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Seun Kuti at the Variety Playhouse 

Joeff Davis
Seun Kuti, the son of Afrobeat legend Fela, jammed at the Variety Playhouse last night, playing songs from his father's discography mixed with some of his own from his 2011 album From Africa With Fury: Rise.
Joeff Davis
Kuti's band consists of horns, drums, rhythm section, and traditional African percussion - 14 musicians and two dancers/background singers.
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
Kuti threw himself all over the stage throughout the show.
Joeff Davis
Our differences are superficial because government doesn't represent the people, man, they represent big business," he said during an interlude. He talked about the similarities between Nigeria's dysfunctional economy and America's: "They don't give you poverty and hunger, they give you credit," he said, inciting laughter. "If you sleep on the street, they arrest you," he said, critiquing his homeland. "In Lagos, you don't even have the right to be poor no more."
Joeff Davis
Kuti punctuated his performance with sax solos all night.
Joeff Davis
The horn section took center stage throughout the night for solos.
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
At times, it felt like Seun was channeling Bob Marley as much as he was his father.
Joeff Davis
Kuti loosely acted out the lyrics in many of the songs. While performing his ode to marijuana, "The Good Leaf," he broke open a water bottle as if he was irrigating the crop.
Joeff Davis
Kuti took off his sweat-drenched shirt at one point to reveal a thick tattoo on his back that read "Fela Lives."
Joeff Davis
During another song, Kuti tightened his saxophone strap like a tie, mocking the uptight people who won't dance to Afrobeat.
Joeff Davis
At one point, a man ran up and threw dollar bills onto the stage. It was the first time it happened during the tour, according to Kuti's booking agent, who described it as an African custom. "Paying for live music in Africa used to be like this, it's not so common now," the agent wrote in a follow-up email. "It also means it was done by Nigerians. Americans don't do this sort of thing." Kuti thanked the crowd but told them to put their money to better use by donating to a charity in his name.
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
Joeff Davis
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Joeff Davis
Kuti's band consists of horns, drums, rhythm section, and traditional African percussion - 14 musicians and two dancers/background singers.
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