The last time Tinariwen was in town, about two years ago, I missed the show for absolutely no reason. So to put it simply, I was beyond ecstatic for last night’s performance by Tinariwen at the Paradise Rock Club, ending my two-year wait to experience the beauty of the world psychedelic rock group. Opener was South London based roots/folk group, The Melodic.
Unlike the majority of shows I attend, Tinariwen is more than just another band playing a show, trying to make it big. Not only has this band been performing for over four decades with numerous band member changes, they have also been active members in the uprisings and rebellions in Mali. A force of nature, this group is more than just a band, they are a public figure to their people. The band name “Tinariwen” roughly translates to “deserts” capturing their origin as men of the desert. Influenced by rock n roll legends like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Dire Straits, Tinariwen also captures and reflects the culture of which they have risen from. To my delight there stage set up was as basic as it can get. All you found on stage was their amps set up on chairs (and let me tell you these guys weren’t playing out of custom made cabs and setups, the lead guitarist was rigged up into a 75w vox amp), and Tinariwen themselves, dressed in traditional Mali wear.
Reserved and humble, the band carried an air of wisdom and age. Members switched instruments throughout the set, but always consisted of percussion, bass, rhythm & lead guitar, and everyone on vocals. Beautifully moving and undeniably grounding, Tinariwen touches deep to the roots of ones psyche. With traces of Carnatic rhythms dripping through their music, Tinariwen entrances their listeners into a spiritual journey. Extremely thankful to have experienced seeing this group, I highly recommend them to anyone who is in need of a heartwarming experience.
Catch up with The Melodic & Tinariwen here:
Keep it real Boston ✌