Konono No. 1 at Logan Square Auditorium

NOV. 11, 2005
Logan Square Auditorium

One of the stranger recent concerts…┬áKonono No. 1’s from Congo, playing thumb pianos and banging on some sort of cowbells, all amplified through primitive equipment including big speakers like the one above… The rhythmic songs are long (like, half an hour long) and highly repetitive. The grooves are great, but after a while the repetition starts to wear thin… and then you come back around again and feel it all moving to another level. Maybe. They’ve been compared to electronic dance bands. Think of it as Kraftwerk with really primitive equipment.

Other than the two dancing singers, most of the members of Konono No. 1 stood impassively on the stage, staring out at the strangeness of America. I wondered what they made of it all.