A TRIBE CALLED RED at the Opera House, Friday, June 21. Rating: NNNN
Girls twerked, hips grinded, and a lone crowd surfer made his way across a sea of sweaty bodies. At the centre of it all was A Tribe Called Red, who transformed the Opera House into a frenzied dance hall for National Aboriginal Day.
The three producer-DJs rallied the packed house with their signature pow -wow step sound, a hybrid of new school dubstep and native drum-and-chant. After being summoned onstage by the pounding drums of opener Sitting Bear (who played in the middle of the dance floor), the trio took the stage and got down to business. Performing in front of cartoon and film projections which portrayed Aboriginals in stereotypical ways - think spears, crudely painted faces - they played songs from their latest album Nation II Nation, as well as other crowd favourites like club banger Electric Pow Wow Drum, which even had the wallflowers gyrating (this reviewer included).
Toward the end, as it seemed the show had delved into the deep end of dubstep, never to return, the DJs turned down the bass and brought out hoop dancer Rhonda Doxtator, who invigorated the crowd with her interlocking hoop formations that were timed perfectly to the music, metamorphosing into an eagle right as the beat dropped.