Live Review and Videos: Afropunk Festival 2014

Bad Brains

Last weekend, Afropunk hosted its 10th weekend festival at Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene. Previous years had been blighted with long lines taking an age to get in, they managed to fix that problem this time around as I breezed right through at 4:30pm, so a big pat on the back to the organisers.

We’ve got some footage for you from Saturday, courtesy of (((unartig))) below the jump. 

Shabazz Palaces were the first band I saw. I was impressed with their range of styles and what was ultimately a chilled out set, which could probably only be improved by a few bong hits.

Despite the threat of thunderstorms during the day, after a light shower the sun came out and I wandered around the festival for a while after Shabazz Palaces, taking in a few songs from LA youngsters, The Bots, who played a spirited set.

I was surprised to find out that Bad Brains were playing on the smaller stage, so made sure I took a spot in plenty of time just in front of the soundboard while what sounded like a completely over the top performance from Trash Talk rang out from the other stage. People had packed in like sardines by the time Bad Brains started and the crowd erupted throughout the whole set, even during their slower reggae numbers.

As you may have heard, Bad Brains were due to perform without singer HR (not for the first time…). The rest of the band; Dr Know, Darryl Jennifer and Earl Hudson were joined on stage by some guest vocalists, most notably Corey Glover of Living Color and John Joseph of Cro Mags.

w/Corey Glover

w/John Joseph

w/Jesse Royal

I’ve got to confess, Body Count have always been a fairly guilty pleasure so I was quite excited to see them play and I was not disappointed. Whilst it would have been nice to have heard personal favourite, Necessary Evil (or for that matter, songs like KKK Bitch and Evil Dick), the band cooked up a storm with Body Count’s in the House Voodoo as well as cuts from their latest record, Manslaughter. Inevitably, they ended the night with Copkiller, which you can watch below.

The Afropunk festivals are a genuinely inclusive and fun time, crossing genres and all walks of life, here’s to another 10 years.

Photo by Chris Quartly

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