Review: Maribou State Instill Funk, Energy, Soul Into Music With Live Show

Maribou State live is one hell of a time.
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Maribou State

Maribou State

Electronic music duo Maribou State released their sophomore artist album Kingdoms In Colour towards the end of 2018, which combined elements of electronic music with jazz, soul and other world music, where they traveled the globe in search of inspiration. That global sound has brought them all over the world and is bringing them to the United States with their live band for a run of shows this winter. The band kicked off their gigs in Washington DC on Tuesday and touched down in Brooklyn last night, February 13 for a sold out show at Elsewhere.

Provo-native Luc Bradford, better known as ford warmed up the room for Maribou State with selections from his new album (The) Evening, in addition to other Foreign Family Collective-sounding records.

The place was buzzing during the changeover as the group came to the stage around 10pm.

As a live show, they brought a drummer and a percussionist, who also played bass and the occasional synth. Chris Davids and Liam Ivory stood in the center with a myriad of electronic pianos, synths, drum machines and mics set up all around them.

The group brought a totally different element and sound to their music. The live show transformed their music into something that was funkier, livelier, more danceable and incredibly fun to experience. The myriad of instruments on their songs were present, like on “Feel Good” as the vocals echoed around the venue over guitar and bass.

Their didn’t just stick to Kingdoms In Colour, though they did learn heavily on it. Holly Walker came out for the four songs they have together on the group’s two albums. There was a more subdued and soulful vibe when she was present, as the musicians let her dominate the show in front of the crowd.

The set started to build with more emphasis on certain parts of the songs, like bringing out the funk in “Nervous Tics” or allowing the drummer to show off his chops that seemed to have training in rock music. They would run some songs with extended sections, riffing on synths, guitars or bass, feeling the vibe of the crowd and the instruments to get the dancefloor moving a bit more. Maribou State eventually ended on the more subdued “Varkala,” before encoring with “Turnmills” for one final dance.

Maribou State live is hearing them like you haven’t heard before. It is funkier, livelier and more energetic. Everything is emphasized more with live experimentation. 

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