Where can one find graffiti, abstract, live music and refreshments all in one setting engulfed by a group of urban, fashion-forward attendees? Only one place: the FREECANDY venue in Brooklyn, NY.
On June 24 at 8 PM, I had the opportunity of visiting the first of many “AFROPUNK: Battle of the bands” shows, part of a weekly series. Walking through the long vinyl curtains that separated the line from a rave, garage-like venue was the start to my excitement of what was next to endure. With a purchased ticket in hand, I made my way up the line, through the crowd and into the home of some of the greatest underground bands to ever walk the face of the USA.
The moment I stepped in, the dimmed, blue lights lifted me off my feet leading me all over the beautiful scene. There was art all over the walls, ceiling and floors including splattered paint in every corner, painted canvases, broken sinks and TV sets embellished with groovy graffiti. Art dripped from every inch of the space and each piece had a story to tell.
The lineup for the night? Tribe NYC, Lonely Horse, Kings of the Tribe and Indigo.
The show opened up with an array of rap and style as Tribe NYC, a funky fresh hip-hop crew, (wearing 1990s urban apparel from head to toe) took the stage. I noticed that they were the same guys who graced the Rebook site with their #MEETTHETRIBE campaign. One word to describe the performance? Chaotic (but in a good way)! Whether they were throwing monopoly money and business cards in the crowd, jumping into the audience for a dance battle, or setting their oversized, pure-white boom box in front of the stage with a pile of sharpies for signatures and tagging, while rapping their hardest 90s flow lyrics, they never lost my attention.
Next up was Lonely Horse. The band consisted of a guitar-playing singer and a passionate drum player. The genre of rock, and soul created a mellow yet hyped ambience on the stage, probably one of the greatest oxymoron’s of the evening. Sharing three songs with the audience was more than enough to shift the energy of the crowd. Soon we were down a lane of love stories and passion.
As the show traveled into the summery night it was evident that most of the crowd had come out to see Kings of the Tribe: a group of guys all young and very different to one another but all who shared a similar talent, making good music. These hip fellas were more than comfortable on the stage and interacted well with everyone. Midway into their performance, promotional beach balls crowd-surfed and silly string shot carelessly at every attendee in front of the stage. It was a fairly fun and interesting way to continue the show.
The last performer of the night was an eclectic yet interesting singer/songwriter named Indigo. She started off her performance with a dancehall-African dance number, giving the crowd every reason why she was a triple threat with her rap, song and dance style. As she sang, her two male back-up dancers rocked out to her awesome beat. What a great end to an amazing show.