World music and electronic act Thievery Corporation closed out the Summer Concert Series at the Pier 17 Rooftop on Friday night to a sold out crowd, despite temperatures in the 50’s and high winds. The show featured a number of talented musicians who rotated in and out during the set, as well as two acoustic songs. They were joined by Brooklyn-based nu-disco band Escourt.
Escourt opened the evening and got the crowd’s blood flowing with their signature disco dance-hall style beats plus synthesizer-driven harmonies. The band was led by singer Nikki B, sporting a long white tiered train, as well as founders Eugene Cho (synthesizer) and JKriv (guitar). The lineup also included Jim Orso on drums and singers Daniela Bauer and Layla Dionne. Their set had plenty of banter from Nikki B, and closed up with “Cocaine Blues” from their 2011 album Funkytown.
Led by co-founder Rob Garza, Thievery Corporation was up next. They cycled through a number of musicians throughout the night, and delivered their eclectic mix of electronica, dub, hip-hop, Indian, Brazillian and other genres. The core band included Garza (synthesizer, producer), Jeff Franca (drums), Rob Myers (sitar, guitar), Frank Orrall (percussion, drums, vocals), Ashish “Hash” Vyas (bass) and two unknown trumpeters. Additionally, the following musicians were on stage providing vocals for various songs: Racquel Jones, Puma Ptah, Natalia Clavier, Mr. Lif, and Loulou Ghelichkhani.
The set began at 8:20 p.m. with “Marching the Hate Machines (Into the Sun)” from the 2005 release, Cosmic Games and featured Orrall wearing a contraption of lights radiating from his back and hand. Racquel Jones joined the party for “Letter to the Editor” from the 2017 release The Temple of I & I. Puma Ptah stepped in for the next tune, also from The Temple of I & I, “Babylon Falling.” Natalia Clavier then lended her vocals for the classic downtempo tune “All That We Perceive” from The Richest Man in Babylon. Orrall stepped away from the percussion kit to sing “The Heart’s A Lonely Hunter,” also from Cosmic Games. At one point, Orrall was standing above a speaker, swinging an illuminated poy above his head. Next, Mr. Lif made an appearance in the hip-hop meets downtempo “History,” from their most recent release, Treasures from the Temple.
“The Forgotten People” from Radio Retaliation preceded a delightful acoustic sequence with two songs from Saudade. Loulou Ghelichkhani contributed vocals for “Le Coeur” and Clavier rejoined the band for “Claridad.”
Thievery Corporation returned to their electronic instruments for “Sweet Tides,” also from Radio Retaliation. Puma Ptah was back in the mix, providing vocals for the Cosmic Games classic reggae tune, “Amerimaka.” Ghelichkhani took over vocals for the next song, “Voyage Libre” from Treasures from the Temple. The band next played their classic downtempo tune from The Richest Man in Babylon, “Omid (Hope),” followed by another Cosmic Games tune, “Warning Shots.” Mr. Lif then rejoined the band and announced that the next song is for those in dark places, which caused the crowd to erupt with emotion. He then provided vocals for hip hop based “Fight to Survive” from The Temple of I & I. The show closed out with the Indian music-inspired and rarely played original “Lebanese Blonde” from 2000’s Mirror Conspiracy.
Thievery Corporation’s tasty electronic and world mix of original tunes kept the crowd warm on a chilly night in New York City’s Financial District, atop the Rooftop at Pier 17, closing out the Summer Concert Series at the venue. NYC eagerly awaits the return of this talented electronica outfit.
Setlist: Marching the Hate Machines (Into the Sun), Letter to the Editor*, Babylon Falling**, All That We Perceive***, The Heart’s A Lonely Hunter, History%, The Forgotten People, Le Coeur****^, Claridad***^, Sweet Tides, Amerimacka**, Voyage Libre****, Omid (Hope), Warning Shots, Fight to Survive%, Lebanese Blonde
* with Racquel Jones
** with Puma Ptah
*** with Natalia Clavier
**** with Loulou Ghelichkani
% with Mr. Lif