Last year, I had the insane privilege of studying street musicians in an Ecuadorian city called Cuenca. One particular group-known as Bandada de la Madre-was a sort of a loose Latino drum circle, consisting of about 10 people creating wild percussion from bottles and bells to buckets and boxes. Their energy and rhythm was completely contagious; as the momentum of their often-improvised drumming built, I felt my chest rattle and hips thrust in tune with the boom of the music.
Watching Wild Orchid Children's performance last Saturday night at The Den created a similarly vivacious sensation. With the accompaniment of slicing guitars and cutting keyboard riffs, the heavy thud of surround-sound drums (they used three drum sets) created an atmosphere of chaotic rhythm that was as equally irresistible as my Cuencano experience. Wild Orchid Children, hailing from Seattle, successfully brought a punk-y yet hip-hop sound that was uniquely engaging, and possessed a kind of passionate force on stage that every concert should have - but few do. The band's first album, scheduled to be released shortly (you can catch it on MySpace now)-entitled The Wild Orchid Children Are Alexander Supertramp-contains the same kind of frantic energy - sweeping but not sloppy, exhilarating but not exhausting. The band's music is an all-body, all-senses experience, and definitely not one to miss.
The Wild Orchid Children return to Tacoma on May 13 at Hell's Kitchen.
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