Having thoroughly enjoyed Red Baraat’s lively performance this summer at the XPoNential Festival, I knew that I was in for a good time this past Friday night at The Blockley. Red Baraat is an 8-piece band from Brooklyn that blends Indian bhangra beats and New Orleans jazz with elements of hip hop, making for a jubilant dance party. And this is no ordinary dance party, this is an Indian wedding celebration and a Mardi Gras party all rolled into one. When the ratio of musicians in the band is 3 drummers to 5 horn players, it’s almost impossible not to move your body to the beat. Consider this; in my (limited) experience covering shows, I feel there is some unwritten rule that photographers must keep their cool, and not express their enjoyment of the music as much as the audience. Well, at Red Baraat Friday night, I probably danced more than a photographer should, and I enjoyed every minute. Throughout the evening, Red Baraat’s hypnotic beats kept us moving until the very last song when Red Baraat whipped the crowd up into a frenzy; quickening their pace, playing faster and faster until we were thoroughly exhausted with delight.
West Philadelphia Orchestra got things warmed up with their Balkan-inspired brass band sound, making for an enjoyable evening of music from around the world. Members of the WPO came off the stage and out into the audience, playing their horns and dancing with the crowd. West Philadelphia Orchestra hosts a monthly Balkan dance party at Underground Arts.