As far as free shows go, this one more than rightfully tops the list. On November 15, the First Nations electronic DJ trio A Tribe Called Red came into Syracuse and blew out the eardrums of about 200 people in South Campus’s Skybarn. It was a unique scene for some, as they play a blend of contemporary dance club music and powwow drum songs. What’s created is a bridge between cultures and peoples on a level we can all relate to: music.
The show was open to the public, and was promoted virally and through word of mouth, a real underground production. It remained relatively family friendly, but that didn’t take away from the night. It was, above all else, a dance party, and the crowd was loud and raucous. There was a large presence of Native students from campus, as well as many Natives from outside the Syracuse area. Obviously, A Tribe Called Red is highly popular amongst Native peoples. Yet, there were many in attendance who were unaware of the group before the show or who were just there for a good time.
And A Tribe Called Red delivered. Their beats are heavily influenced by the big time bass of powwow music, and that beautifully complements the electronic, hip-hop, and dubstep beats they utilize in their sets. They’re attempting something truly unique by bringing Native American and First Nations music to the masses, but doing it cleverly enough so that it is accessible even to those who don’t know the whole background of what they’re listening to. Either way, A Tribe Called Red is having fun with it all, and Syracuse was lucky enough to have them for the night.
Image courtesy of atribecalledred.com