Two artists from New York feel at home in the Big Easy. In the simplest terms, that’s how I would described this stop on The Vibrant Tour. The opener was performed by, New York rapper, Kemba who certainly made an unforgettable and energetic atmosphere to set the tone for the rest of the concert. His brash and high energy raps are something akin to early Wu-Tang or Joey Bada$$ while also having his introspective side. It was an absolutely crazy performance from the young rapper as he played back to back bangers that made the crowd jump and rap along to the chorus. “Deadass,” “Already,” “Delivert,” and “No U Ain’t” are some of the songs featured during his performance as well as some unreleased tracks. Moving on from that incredible performance came the main act, Brasstracks. Prior to coming to their show at the Republic NOLA, I hadn’t known who they were. After a week of solely listening to their music and getting to know a little bit about who they are I can confidently say that I’m a big fan of their music. Brasstracks are an enigmatic and frankly vibrant jazz/soul duo from the Bronx, New York.
Their music is nothing short of spectacular with the excellent trumpeting by Ivan Jackson and pulse-pounding drums by Conor Rayne that make a great addition for any party playlist. What makes the group stand out from other instrumental bands is their use of live instruments and impromptu changes to their own songs. This makes attending live performances so much more impactful and grand as the horns are blaring and the bass is kicking in a way that is organic and raw while also being structured. Everything seems practiced and informal with many breaks for the trumpets and trombones and drums to just go off during songs before coming back to how it’s is normally played. The atmosphere for the concert was fun.
Hearing “Moments,” “Vibrant,” “Say U Won’t,” “I’ll Sing About You,” along with their covers of Lil Uzi’s “XO Tour Llif3,” Jay-Z’s “Echoes,” and an Usher cut was something wondrous and fun. Ivan Jackson would pause the show to ask the crowd if we were having fun and it was clearly important that his show was a fun experience for his audience and that they all can share in his joy for performance and light-hearted attitude. They had brought back Kemba for a few songs on their collab album due to release soon including their single “Exhale.” Pell came on the stage after Kemba to do a couple tracks with Brasstracks performing their track “Vibrant” as well as Pell latest music from his Girasoul EP and Limbo album before bowing out with the crowd chanting “Pell Yeah!”
The Vibrant Tour most definitely maintains the meaning of its name with a dynamic and beautiful array of talented musicians and artists coming together in such a fantastic performance. The vibe is fun, lively, and energetic that’ll have everybody on their feet and on the dance floor. The music is ageless as I saw a range of people come from some 20-somethings to middle-aged people to even a couple grandparents all coming to celebrate this revitalization of jazz inspired music. If you haven’t seen these guys have a show coming to your city or around your town, I highly recommend that you go out and see them perform live, it’s unreal hearing what they can do then you have to add Kemba and Pell delivering their talents and you have an experience unlike any other
Photos by Gerard Lefrere