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Tinariwen entered to hopeful applause, but exited to a roomful of awe and a standing ovation.  Playing their second of two nights as co-headliners of the 40th Annual Hong Kong Arts Festival - along with New Orleans blues legend Dr. John - the band embraced Hong Kong with their dusty, mournful, droning desert rock.  This was deep music to revel in, and between the last minute lineup changes (due to outbreaks of violence in the band’s homeland Mali) and a bit of a language barrier, it fairly took the crowd a while to warm-up.  But with the relentless hand-clapping and the dizzying layers of sound laid out by the mesmerizing sextet, coupled with the soaring guitar melodies and well-harmonized vocals, the crowd gradually became entranced, enraptured and wildly enthusiastic.  By the end of the almost two-hour set the majority of the sell-out crowd was on their feet, clapping feverishly as the band exchanged solos and instruments.  Fans briefly stole the stage to dance and to thank the crowd in Cantonese on behalf of the band, but this night belonged to the desert.
The talent runs deep with Tinariwen, so while they may have been influenced by 60s rock the sound they have forged is wholly original: Saharan campfire music that is clearly Grammy worthy.  Like equally renowned Malians Amadou & Mariam, this is passionate music meant for the world, not just “world music.”  Hong Kong should be thankful for nights like this, when the bustling city fades away and the stars come out…
(Please click here for my original review of the band)

Tinariwen entered to hopeful applause, but exited to a roomful of awe and a standing ovation.  Playing their second of two nights as co-headliners of the 40th Annual Hong Kong Arts Festival - along with New Orleans blues legend Dr. John - the band embraced Hong Kong with their dusty, mournful, droning desert rock.  This was deep music to revel in, and between the last minute lineup changes (due to outbreaks of violence in the band’s homeland Mali) and a bit of a language barrier, it fairly took the crowd a while to warm-up.  But with the relentless hand-clapping and the dizzying layers of sound laid out by the mesmerizing sextet, coupled with the soaring guitar melodies and well-harmonized vocals, the crowd gradually became entranced, enraptured and wildly enthusiastic.  By the end of the almost two-hour set the majority of the sell-out crowd was on their feet, clapping feverishly as the band exchanged solos and instruments.  Fans briefly stole the stage to dance and to thank the crowd in Cantonese on behalf of the band, but this night belonged to the desert.

The talent runs deep with Tinariwen, so while they may have been influenced by 60s rock the sound they have forged is wholly original: Saharan campfire music that is clearly Grammy worthy.  Like equally renowned Malians Amadou & Mariam, this is passionate music meant for the world, not just “world music.”  Hong Kong should be thankful for nights like this, when the bustling city fades away and the stars come out…

(Please click here for my original review of the band)

Tinariwen are an epic band.  Their music and their story are both impressive, telling the story of the Tuareg people through spiritual and entrancing acoustic music.  The rhythms of the desert emerge, the vocals haunt, and the beats are subtle yet grooving.  Glad they are coming to Hong Kong later this year.  Plenty more info on their website.

Tinariwen are an epic band.  Their music and their story are both impressive, telling the story of the Tuareg people through spiritual and entrancing acoustic music.  The rhythms of the desert emerge, the vocals haunt, and the beats are subtle yet grooving.  Glad they are coming to Hong Kong later this year.  Plenty more info on their website.