Ibeyi | Photo by Cameron Pollack | http://cameronpollack.500px.com/

I have seen no duo in my admittedly brief history of concert going more commanding of a crowd, more loving of groove, and with more infectious, intricate songwriting than Ibeyi. Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi ooze confidence and soul, constantly singing and smiling through the set, at each other and at the audience.

Harmonies and an almost heartbeat like sense of rhythm pulsing throughout the crowd (even up to the mezzanine) were a constant presence. Back and forth singing abound, between the twins themselves and between the twins and the audience, right up through the end of set. Cheering, dancing, impeccable harmonies, grooving, and more harmonies. A capella, no group is more pleasurable to watch, whether they sing in English or Noruba. Ellegua, and two a cappella pieces about being the daughter of Thunder and the daughter of the Sea had every person smiling. While focusing heavily on electronics and sampling, Naomi’s use of cajón and batá drums drove the show and made the show much more intimate.

In my opinion, Ibeyi’s record does not by any stretch do their live performance justice. This is not to say the record isn’t worth listening to; it’s quite the fantastic record. I mean to say that this live performance showcased raw energy, intimacy and soul considerably more than can be heard on the record. I’ve seen too many concerts where the artists just don’t look like they’re having fun; they play to get paid and immediately get lost. Ibeyi is not one of those groups. They came to Philly to finish their tour in style, and have an incredible time. Getting paid was just a bonus.

XPN Fave Son Little also stopped by, and gave a rocking set, not unlike his NonCOMM set at the right of the stage, shouting out the Charleston victims and socializing with a small boy in the audience. Photos below!