Superhuman Happiness @ Le Poisson Rouge, 3/29/13
Those seeking awesome rhythms had their appetites sated and then some at Le Poisson Rouge this evening. Friday night brought us a set from the funky-rock collective Superhuman Happiness. The general theme of the evening was simple. Let go of your woes and dance out a good time.
Opener EMEFE immediately set that tone when they took the stage. They numbered over ten with their entire ensemble, which included a fine brass section and a bongo drummer. Their 2010 album, Music Frees All, defines their vibes and sounds, which are all extended jams, mostly instrumental and highly dance-able. They ended their set with a parade into the audience, one (un)fortunate member of which my friends and I turned into a congo line.
Ending a set in such a fashion can make for a hard act to follow, but Superhuman Happiness managed. They absorbed most of EMEFE, other opener Live Footage, and also included some backup singers; their stage count hovered around twenty individuals. Those singers were ‘picked’ from the audience, but turned out to be plants. I found that to be a pretty lame hoodwinking of the crowd, just bring them with you on stage next time. I didn’t let that get me down too much, the actual set was quite fun.
Their sound in description is quite similar to EMEFE, but here vocals are a central component and a significant amount of audience participation was fostered. Plenty of clapping, along with orchestrated ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ form a key part of the aura of Superhuman Happiness. They are the quintessential ‘live band’, and should be seen in the flesh for the full experience. In the recorded realm, they did just release their first LP this year, Hands; it largely mirrors the show’s content.
[photos by William Helms]