Blue Stage Sessions
***While much of Tuareg music has become more distorted, faster and bombastic as of late, Mdou Moctar's soundscapes are more traditionally sparse, polyrhythmic and deeply psychedelic, with lyrics sung in the style of Tuareg nomadic poets. His show on the Blue Stage at Third Man Records Cass Corridor was proof of how special all of this feels, especially in front of a Western audience, most of whom were seeing Mdou live for the first time. When Mdou took the stage with guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane and drummer Mahmoud Ahmed Jabra—only their faces exposed in their tunics and turbans—and began to play, there was a meditative intrigue that loomed heavy and thick in the room. Though hard to see clearly Mdou’s precise and rapid-fire fingerwork on his Fender, the audience was quickly and thoroughly transfixed by his left-handed virtuosity. By the end of the psychedelic-guitar-rock-groove-explosion that was their set, it was clear that this was a show that would be talked about for a very long time.