[LIVE REVIEW] Sinkane @ Mississippi Studios
Mississippi Studios has a way of booking the right acts at the right time, and presenting them in an intimate environment. Last week, they brought Sinkane to Portland, OR in the middle of their first headlining tour, a very special time for any band. Feeling at home, Sinkane took stage with confidence and began their set with little introduction. The band's close ties with Yeasayer became immediately apparent with the opening song "Jeeper Creeper," which incorporates rhythms and riffs reminiscent of Yeasayer, circa "All Hour Cymbals." The dreamy, mid-tempo tune provided a cohesive transition from the synth-heavy opening act that was Helado Negro.
With such a mellow beginning, I began to fear that perhaps this show wouldn't be as energetic as I had expected. However, it soon became apparent that the slow start was intentional and the Brooklyn band had everything under control. Without missing a beat, front man Ahmed Gallab took a second to address the crowd, asking if everyone was ready to dance, which was met with an enthusiastic cheer. Gallab grinned his way into the deep psychedelic Afro-funk groove "Making Time," and the room came alive. A number of people, myself included, went so far as to remove their shoes and dance unhindered. Instead of the frantic mobile-paparazzi we've grown accustomed to at shows, camera phones stayed in pockets. It would seem that Sinkane had captivated the crowd to a point that everyone was more concerned with actively participating in the experience than capturing it.
Gallab never let up, and kept the dance grooves coming in full force for nearly an hour before taking a breather. He acknowledged the number of couples in the crowd and decided to end things on a slow note, finishing appropriately with the sway-worthy "Hold Tight," displaying impressive versatility. Taking a room down from a hot shoes-off dance-off into a slow and sexy couple's dance is something only seasoned professionals can pull off.
Keep an eye on Sinkane. You would be hard-pressed to find a more soulful, genuine, and passionate act touring today, and for those who value live music, Sinkane is a must-see.
All photos and writing by Drew Bandy. Click on the below thumbnails to enlarge.