Thievery Corporation: ‘Hold your fists high, unify tribe’

Thievery Corporation made its way back onto the Portland stage on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the Roseland Theater with opening guest That 1 Guy aka Mike Silverman.

Silverman opened the show with his distinctive handmade instruments, one resembling an elongated, upside down trombone with an attached drum machine. His entertaining performance ranged in influences reminiscent of White Zombie and Weird Al, with a hint of Slightly Stoopid.

Thievery Corporation brought funk, jazz, soul, reggae and rap to the main stage in all its glory with a 12-person ensemble, allowing the majority of their primarily electronica driven sounds to be performed live.

Thievery’s two front men, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, sat behind their turntables and allowed their band and guests to shine in the front. The set list included hits “Sweet Tides” with LouLou Ghelichkhani, “Unified Tribe” (performed by the legendary Mr. Lif), “Radio Retaliation” performed with Sleepy Wonder, “Blasting Time” with Ras Puma, and a stunning rendition of 1960s rock group The Doors’ hit “Strange Days,” performed by singer Frank ‘Booty Lock’ Mitchell (who sounds astonishingly similar to Jim Morrison).

Singer Natalia Clavier surprised the audience with a rendition of perhaps their most famous song, “Lebanese Blonde.” The performance couldn’t have been any more beautiful, and the crowd showed their appreciation with an immediate reaction of cheering and dance. “Lebanese Blonde” is often accepted as the group’s most emotional song due to the passing of the original singer, Pam Bricker, one of their earliest supporters from back home in Washington, D.C.

Bricker was an influential music professor from George Washington University and a professional jazz singer who won five Washington Area Music Association honors before her untimely death in 2005. “Lebanese Blonde” was released by TC in 1997 and added to their 2000 release The Mirror Conspiracy.

The live band ensemble in itself was very entertaining as well, featuring lively dancing from the bassist, drummer, trumpet players and backing vocalists. The show ended with Ras Puma and Mr. Lif riling the crowd up with “Richest Man in Babylon.” And to think the room couldn’t smell anymore of marijuana and nag champa. One couldn’t have asked for a better Tuesday night indeed.

Official Portland Setlist:

“Facing East” (Band)
“Take My Soul” (LouLou)
“Hari Krishna” (Natalia)
“Blasting Time” (Ras Puma)
“Radio Retaliation” (Sleepy)
“Culture of Fear” (Mr. Lif)
“Illumination” (Band)
“Depth of My Soul” (Natalia)
“Amerimacka” (Sleepy and Puma)
“La Femme” (LouLou)
“Exihlo” (Natalia)
“Strange Days” (Frank)
“Holographic” (Mr. Lif and LouLou)
“Vampire” (Puma)
“Unified Tribe” (Mr. Lif)
“Warning Shots” (Sleepy and Puma)
“Sweet Tides” (LouLou)
“Lebanese Blonde” (Natalia)
“Richest Man in Babylon” (Sleepy and Puma)