Like many clubs in New York, Webster Hall is usually more packed on a Friday or Saturday night, due to the massive number of us who work 9-5 on Monday through Friday. Thanks to globalFEST 2013, this past Sunday knew none of that loneliness.
Doors opened at 6 p.m. for the festival, which featured 12 artists from around the world on three separate stages throughout the night. Though the venue utilized its multiple floors for the accommodation of press, artists and many All-Access pass holders, the stairs leading from the Studio to the Marlin room and finally to the Ballroom were heavily populated for the duration of the night as music lovers traversed from floor to floor in an effort to hear all the sounds globalFEST had to offer.
As globalFEST boasted bands of all genres and backgrounds including A Tribe Called Red, LO’JO, Stooges Brass Band and many more, the music was well worth the effort.
From Stephane Wrembel and his band, who made the masterful manipulation of frets seem effortless in their execution of aptly named tunes (The Voice of the Desert, Momentum, etc.), to the calming, yet simultaneously upbeat sounds of Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits as Mtukudzi’s smooth voice combines with a plethora of percussion to create a borderline-tropical sound, globalFEST was loaded with a collection of music seemingly designed to remind each listener how amazing life is.
Perhaps one of the most interesting, interactive performances was that of Fatoumata Diawara who utilized her high energy and tribal dancing to involve the crowd during the majority of her time on stage. Diawara’s bright, culturally-charged wardrobe only added to the intense experience she provided. At one point in her performance, I realized that despite the fact I couldn’t understand a word of her Mali lyrics, I felt the emotions as strongly as ever. Good music should be defined by such an amazing quality.
Though I wasn’t able to see each and every band at globalFEST, those I did have the pleasure of hearing were well worth the deadly climb up and down Webster Hall’s ancient staircases. Well done, globalFEST 2013. Don’t forget about me next year.