The pairing of trip-hop masters Massive Attack with the D.C. duo of the Thievery Corporation could not have been more perfect. Two mega forces in the industry playing the same bill is almost an overload on the senses. The sheer talent on stage from these two productions was a feast. The crowd at the Gibson Ampitheatre was as diverse as you can get.
Hair was flying and bodies were moving in the aisles for the Thievery Corporation. Led by Rob Garza and Eric Hilton who held court high in the back of the stage stayed out of the spotlight to let the ensemble of multinational talent pour out onto the floor. Bassist Ashish Vyas roamed the stage from beginning to end gracefully interacting with all vocalists, including Sista Pat, Lou Lou Ooldouz Ghelickhani and a rare guest appearance from Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell.
To have Bristol’s Massive Attack come back to the Southland so quickly after 3 sold out shows this year was a special treat indeed. No one is in their league. The captain of the ship Robert “3D” Del Naja is a true artist, painting the canvas of the Gibson with LED lights in deep reds and and blues and setting the stage with talent such as Grant “Daddy G.” Marshall (his presence and vocals are powerful), reggae legend Andy Horace (who always makes that endearing symbol with his hands before he sings), Martina Bird-Topley (who had the most applause after Teardrop, and Debra Miller (barefoot and vocal chops that filled the ampitheatre with smiles). Most of the set was still from the latest Heligoland.
Now if you are tea partier, you would either run out cursing or be converted (hopefully) because, as most MA fans know, the messages that are displayed in bright lights are not conservative friendly. “Every Vote Counts,” while mentioning Props 26 and 19 spotted with humor are not for everyone, but this is not coming from a group that plays your typical boy-meets-girl songs. This is a full-on art production, including thought provoking and intelligent lyrics. “Beyond Petroleum” was the last message and the lights went off.
TC setlist: Forgotten People / Lebanese Blonde / Shadows of Ourselves / Liberation Front / Originality > Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (Sly and the Family Stone cover) / Radio Retaliation / Numbers Game / Illumination / Revolution Solution (with Perry Ferrell) / La Femme Parallel / Amerimacka / 33 Degrees / Richest Man in Babylon / Vampires
Encore: Heart Is a Lonely Hunter / Sound the Alarm / Assault on Babylon / Warning Shots
MA setlist: United Snakes / Babel / Risingson / Girl I Love You / Future Proof / Teardrop / Mezzanine / Angel / Inertia Creeps / You Were Just Leaving / Splitting the Atom / Safe from Harm
Encore: Atlas Air