Thievery Corporation packed the Showbox on December 28, 2018. Based in Washington, D.C., the band plays classic trip-hop with a world feel—including sitar, tablas, chimes, and congas. Their tour supports the album Treasures from the Temple, which was recorded in Jamaica in 2017.
Founding member and producer Rob Garza was joined by an impressive musical lineup of guitarist Rob Myers, bassist Ashish Vyas, percussionist Frank Orrall, and drummer Jeff Franca. It was a polished and high-energy set, accentuated by the playful individuality of the band members: Vyas high-strutted barefoot in a blue jumpsuit, Franca tossed his drumsticks into the audience, Myers shredded guitar and sitar solos, and Orrall took a turn on vocals while also doing the splits and swinging a lightbulb above the crowd.
Five talented vocalists from several countries rotated through the evening, including Mr. Lif (Jeffrey Haynes), Puma Ptah, Racquel Jones, Natalia Clavier, and Loulou Ghelichkhani. Each brought a unique flavor to the music as they sang, rapped, jumped, and danced. All performers were impeccably dressed, and the colorful lighting set a psychedelic mood.
Thievery Corporation delivered an excellent and memorable 20-song set from across their discography, including old favorites “Amerimacka” and “Lebanese Blonde.” The encore began with an extended introduction of the band that was set to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the Seattle crowd. Garza expressed gratitude to each performer, followed by a round of hugs. It was a genuine and heartfelt moment that showcased the love this long-time group has for one another and for their fans.
Houston eight-piece soul group The Suffers opened the evening with a very danceable set. Lead singer Kam Franklin grooved seductively in a velour jumpsuit as she belted out the group’s original tunes. The crowd loved The Suffers, and the band seemed to have a Seattle following already. Franklin made sure of it by quizzing the audience: “What are we called? [The Suffers!] … And where are we from? [Houston!].”