Black Atlantic: Tal National
Friday, March 29, 2019 | 8:00 pm
Tal National is the world’s most energetic rock ’n’ roll band right now. A collective of thirteen singers and instrumentalists based in Niger’s bustling capital of Niamey, its members represent the country’s separate ethnic and cultural strains — the Hausa, Tuareg, and Songhai among them. The group bridges those languages and sounds in hyperkinetic songs written and played by rotating teams of seven people, each tune delivering an electrifying mix of inspirations and ideas. With ecstatic rhythms and communal vocals, Tal National funnels more sounds into a five-minute span than many bands manage in an entire album, especially on their intoxicating 2018 record, Tantabara. These songs dare the audience to dance and sing, to exalt in a sense of pure communion. In Niamey, Tal National runs a rock club where they are known to play all-night concerts, members moving in and out as needed; expect nothing less than that sense of unbridled delight when they step onto the Motorco stage.
“It’s downright miraculous how the songs mesh: guitar licks, hopscotching bass lines, cymbal offbeats and talking drums all land with microscopic precision and can reconfigure in an instant.”