Femi Kuti saw no need in doing a lot talking Sunday.
“We hope you see the beauty of Africa through music,” he said.
It was hard to miss the beauty even with a passing glance. Kuti himself was sporting yellow African garb, while most of his band, The Positive Force, donned vivid red. Three women decked out in intricate yellow outfits danced nonstop for the better part of an hour while also providing backing vocals and instrumentation. Altogether, the stage had 14 performers all at once. Plus, Kuti’s adorable daughter was free to roam wherever she pleased. Sometimes that meant dancing, other times it meant grabbing dad a water bottle.
That’s all just visual though. Musically, they brought a fast paced and politically charged dance party to the River Stage that rivaled anything the weekend had seen thus far.
There were horns and bongos and funky fresh beats. Kuti sang about big business and lying politicians who only want your vote. He was in the middle of a quiet verse about evil when he was interrupted by our favorite nearby boat. “Evil people can never even know…,” Kuti said with a pause. That pause was filled by the booming horn of the RiverLink ferry — because of course it was. Kuti laughed it off and then finished his thought with the phrase “true joy.” What a captivating message that is.
It was one heck of a weekend In Camden. Despite the rain on Saturday, this was yet another XPoNential Festival full of awesome memories. To end it with a unique and intriguing experience from an Afrobeat legend was something special, and those who stuck around for all of The Positive Force’s set would probably agree. Kuti had everyone groovin’ left and right, from those on the barrier to those atop Wiggins Park. They got to feel like they were apart of the African culture Kumi set out to share with them. And he was right — he barely needed to do any talking to make it that way.
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