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Thievery Corporation: Babylon Falling

Thievery Corporation: Babylon Falling

Joey La Porte

December 26th, 2019

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On the last stop of their Babylon Falling Tour before heading home to Washington D.C, Thievery Corporation took the patrons of the Fillmore Auditorium on trip through time and around the globe. Friday night the world music pioneers were led by Rob Garza on the beat-pad and Eric Hilton on the guitar and sitar. The band brought along their full ensemble of instrumentalists and vocalists to provide us with the complete Thievery Corporation experience.

Deeply Rooted History

Initially a duo, Garza and Hilton first bonded over their love for the Washington D.C Bossa Nova and Dub scene. The two released their first album in 1996 and have released nine albums since. Thievery has spent the last two and a half decades establishing a deeply rooted fan base. In fact, to show their gratitude they always pull out all the stops and make sure to play a set that represents a bit of all of their albums.

Vibrant Opening

The Fillmore was vibrant from the jump as two members of !!! (chk,chk,chk) performed a funky House set to to warm our ears and legs for an evening of grooving. Thievery came on promptly at 9 pm opening with a five minute medley before addressing the crowd. After a joyous welcoming ovation from the crowd they got right into it, playing “Omid-Hope” from the 2002 album Richest Man In Babylon with the beautiful Emiliana Torrini on vocals.

Picking up the pace, the setlist called for some of the OG Thieves to bless the stage. Long time Thievery collaborator, Mr. Lif, rushed from backstage to perform a hyped rendition of “Culture Of Fear“. The connection between Lif and Ashish Vyas (bass) was unreal as they fed off of each other’s energy through the politically charged ballad. The two took command of the stage and left their footprints, quite literally, across every inch of the stage.

No Album Untouched

As the night went on it seemed the roster of vocalist would never end; one after the other would appear. With such depth on the microphone ThievCorp gave us a taste of it all, Hip Hop, Samba, Reggae and no album went untouched. Playing the bulk of the set from the Cosmic Game, Radio Retaliation and Richest Man In Babylon albums. This made for some blissful sing-alongs for the fans.

As the evening wound down the group took a moment to express their gratitude for the energy that Denver had provided them. This was their 46th show of the tour and they were beginning to wear thin. After a few words from Garza and Hilton, the band members each grabbed an instrument, sat down in a half circle and blew our minds with a short acoustic set. Although the energy at that moment was most certainly being recharged, the crowd would have been content watching an acoustic set for the duration of the night. Three songs were played with the soulful Natalia Clavier and multi lingual Loulou Ghelichkhani serenading us on vocals.

The band returned to their original instruments for the finale of the show. They played a few more songs, finishing with the classic, “Richest Man In Babylon“; a perfect way to end the show bringing together the tour’s title with a classic Thievery Corporation song. Garza and Hilton called out each artist to introduce them to the crowd before taking a bow as a group and saying goodnight. If you missed Thievery Corporation this time around, don’t panic. The guys are tour junkies and rarely go a year without making at lease one stop in Colorado!

Photos by Julien Deroeux

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