You Are Only As Good as your Drummer

You’re only as good as your drummer. I was lucky enough to see Thievery Corporation at the 9:30 club recently. It was the 2nd of 5 sold out nights in their hometown of Washington, D.C. I am pretty sure I have almost all of their recordings, as well as several of the compilations that they have put out on the 18th Street Lounge Label.

Thievery Corporation is basically a DJ type of duo, surrounded by live musicians and singers. I assume the name came from the concept of stealing samples to create this type of music. To me their songs sound very original, without the use of samples, but I still think their name is genius. To me it also looked like one of the DJs was using vinyl in some capacity, but there wasn’t any scratching in the mix. The other DJ mainly played keyboards and even played guitar on the last song.

They had a guy who played sitar and guitar, a couple of percussionists, a bass player and a two-person horn section. They also paraded a wide variety of singers, had the Latin salsa type of singer who mostly sang in Spanish, had a team of reggae type of rappers and had 3 other female vocalists who came on at different times. Each singer had its own style and vibe and they were never out there for more than one song at a time. These are all the same singers that they use on their records.

Speaking of their records, I am such a fan that I am confident that the drum tracks they use live are the same as what’s on all the records. You’re only as good as your drummer. This is my second time seeing this group, but like I said, I have all the records. By using the same drum track from the record live, there is a distinct consistency between live show and recordings. The visual side of the show was amazing. Behind the band was what looked to be 2-story screens. There was 1 on each side of the stage, as well as one in front of the DJ riser in the middle of the stage.

Super high definition, state-of-the-art screens showed a mix of live footage as well as relevant video content: all with no projection. They were like giant TV screens. I’m such a geeky fan that I would’ve loved the show with or without the screens, but damn, they were cool. I’m told they do the same show every night, which makes the shows flow smoothly. I’m a fan of a smooth-flowing show. I highly recommend buying their records and seeing this show asap. http://www.thieverycorporation.com/