Seun Kuti Plays the New Afrika Shrine

A sublime evening of music, one of those nights in which you feel privileged just to have been part of it.  The crowd was not as big and bustling as I had expected.  Seun (pronounced shay-OOn)and the Egypt 80 band had just returned from a string of dates, most recently New Zealand and Australia, resulting in a long trip home.  They arrived only two days before I had.  There wasn’t much time to do a lot of publicity, Seun had earlier winced.  The room was definitely not packed.  It was 500 naira to get in, about $4.  Still, people knew that band would play at least three hours, and there was no drink minimum.  There was that pesky downpour that may have kept people away.  It delayed Seun’s arrival by about 90 minutes, and the show didn’t start until 1am.  By three, the crowd had thinned out and a lot of the boys there who had started the evening pedal to the metal, spliffs of “Indian hemp” a-blazing, were now parked in their plastic chairs, asleep. 

Still Seun and the Egypt 80 played on, until 4:15.  Backstage afterwards, Seun still had energy to burn, and was shadow boxing a friend of his.

So how do I poetically describe the show?  I’ll let these photos do the talking.

seunshrine11

stonershrine1

3:30am:  the crowd at the Shrine thins, but the band plays on

3:30am: the crowd at the Shrine thins, but the band plays on

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