Tuesday night may have had the District of Columbia buzzing with the energy of Kendrick Lamar and the NSO, but that didn’t stop many music lovers from missing out on the polyrhythmic sounds of Australia’s Hiatus Kaiyote.
The night began with DC native Nick Hakim. He started his set with a lovely song accompanied by guitar only; finishing the rest of his set with his sampler and beat machine. Nick’s voice, a beautiful falsetto reminiscent of Finley Quaye, is lovely to listen to. However, what he had with vocal talent, he seemed to lack stage presence making it feel as if he were performing for his friends in his living room.
The range of the audience, which covered all walks of the spectrum was a beautiful sight to see. Everyone from rock musicians, hip bohos, college students, stylish gray haired music lovers and everyone in between shared a common musical bond.
Once, Nai Palm, Simon Mavin, Paul Bender and Perrin Moss graced the Fillmore stage and the crowd went wild! Due to Simon accidentally hitting the power button on his synthesizer, there was a slight delay to the start of the show. Being the consummate professional, Nai began to play her guitar and sang an impromptu cover of Rufus/Chaka Khan’s classic “Ain’t Nobody”. That whipped the already hyped crowd into anticipation for the show to really begin.
The band broke into “Choose Your Weapon” and quickly segued into “Mobius Streak” from their debut release, Tawk Tomahawk, vamping the second half of the song into head-nodding frenzy. HK came to rock the house and it was evident that DC was ready to join them.
Wasting no time, the group got into fan favorites from their current full length album. They surprised several audience members with an extended version of the minute long “Only Time All The Time”. The sound at the Fillmore was spot on, perfect for the multi-layered, complicated and stacked rhythms and visual lyrics of “Breathing Underwater”, “Laputa”, and the funky “Swamp Thing.”
After showing their versatility and musicianship, Haitus Kaiyote closed out the night with a beautiful rendition of “Building A Ladder.” With its gospel-like beginning and transition to a beat-driven ballad, it was the perfect way to end the night, just as it completes the album.