Thievery Corporation @ Red Butte Garden 09.01

Posted September 6, 2011 in ,

Thievery Corporation. Photo: Andrzej Liguz

The influential dub and electronic producing duo,Thievery Corporation, have never been to Utah before, but their group finally landed in Red Butte Garden to a huge swirl of smoke and approval.

Wafts of that questionable, earthy smoke from the crowd billowed through the spotlights, highlighting producer Rob Garza and his whole gang as they built up to a huge encore. Additional founding member Eric Hilton was not available for the date due to prior engagements with opening his own restaurant. The experience was still amazing and very Thievery Corporation-esque, calling on the full catalog from their debut album of five years ago until now. Some of my favorite tracks, like “Lebanese Blonde” and “Spliff Odyssey” were played along with new stuff from their 2011 release Culture of Fear (ESL Records). The band was tight and the crowd was fully engaged in what I like to call “drunk white people dancing”—a spectacle to be sure.

The new tracks from Culture of Fear are very relevant, and the messages are clear—appropriate coming from a group founded in DC. As Garza says. “If you can get people to question the things around them, even just a little bit, that’s not such a bad thing.” Most were too caught up in the beats and sounds to distinguish the message, but it was clear to the audience with ears: “wake up, listen anew, we need a change, now.” As Hilton has previously expressed, “Everyone is afraid of everything ... People are living like wimps. The terror level is always at orange. Now we’ve got body scanners in airports. Somehow the whole country’s been spun into this pointless web of fear.”

Fortunately for us, this new album, and the sounds from a band that can genuinely move a crowd with a message, are harbingers of a new age in music—a callback to the ‘60s message-based rockers—and a part of a growing movement for global consciousness. Gods bless Thievery Corporation.

Thievery Corporation. Photo: Andrzej Liguz