Please wait...
Please wait...
ums.org

Discuss

People Are Talking: UMS presents Cheikh Lô at The Michigan Theater

Posted: 4/13/12 -- 5:00 pm

20

avatar by The UMS Lobby

Tell us what you thought! This is the place to comment on the performance and talk to other people about what you saw and heard.  Don’t forget to click the option to be notified when new comments are posted.

20 COMMENTS   view newest first

Connect with Facebook


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail!
You can also subscribe without commenting.

  • avatar

    The performance tonight was fantastic! I particularly like the drummer playing the little arm drum. He is awesome!

    Reply
  • avatar

    I agree! That one instrument was awesome and I’m trying to find out what it was! The whole show was great because they did such a good job at displaying their superb musicianship. Loved the jamming.

    Reply
    • avatar

      Hi, Mark Jacobson here from UMS Programming. So glad you enjoyed the concert! The percussion instrument you are referring to is the West African talking drum or “tama.” Its hour-glass shape is designed to imitate or mimic speech patterns when in the hands of a great instrumentalist like Samba N’Dokh on Friday evening. Thanks again for attending! -Mark

      Reply
  • Loved the performance and the atmosphere the group generated – almost felt like the audience shouldn’t be sitting! That small drum instrument was great. I loved that it could produce various tones and that it had this really interesting hollow sound quality.

    Reply
  • avatar

    An immensely enjoyable show by master musicians. Cheikh Lo and his band rocked the Michigan Theater.

    Reply
  • As much as I *love* the Michigan Theater, Cheikh Lo’s music deserves a BIG dance floor with seating on the perimeter for those more inclined to “sit ‘n git.” Fire Marshals might have heart attacks, security hunks might too, but the music and its cultural pulse deserves a bump and flow. Fabulous show! Amazing talent and artistry. The place to be last night!

    Reply
  • I loved the music, though the sound system, particularly the boosted bass, distorted much of it and nearly ruined reception of the proper blending of instruments and singing. Particularly distracting and infuriating was the “dancing” of a young self-centered jackass in the front right side aisle, who deliberaly made a spectacle of himself. His absolute lack of rhythm or musical sense, constant jumping up and down for 90 minutes as if on a trampoline, his disregard for anyone near him, and hogging of attention (maybe he was high or mentally disabled?) made many people uncomfortable. But what was most puzzling and almost unforgiveable was the inaction by any usher, Michigan Theatre or UMS employee to stop this person from ruining the pleasure of many dozens of audience members, and probably distracting the performers who were only 20 feet away. Next time I’ll take action myself.

    Reply
    • avatar

      Hi, Paul, Thank you very much for taking time to provide us with important feedback from Friday evening’s concert. I agree with you that the concert mix was a bit bass-heavy and contributed to difficulty for some audience members to understand the clarity of Cheikh’s vocals. In regards to the distraction you experienced from the specific dancing audience member you mention above, please know that you are not alone. That being said, UMS grants each and every ticket-buying patron the agency to experience UMS events through their own personal form of expression, as long as they do not directly interfere in the concert-going experience of other audience members or the performers themselves. For this very reason, UMS generally prohibits dancing (or other forms of physical personal expression!) directly in front of the stage (blocking the view of audience members seated behind them) or in the center aisles of the Michigan Theater. Though the gentleman in discussion purchased tickets in the center section of the main floor, UMS staff and hired concert security encouraged him to move to the far house-right aisle (along the wall) to dance. Next time, it may be wise for us to additionally consider asking patrons who are interested in dancing to move a bit further back from the stage (and speakers) to an area of the house where there is even more room to dance and would potentially be less of a distraction to our other seated patrons. As you know, physical movement is culturally relevant to most forms of global music, especially music from West Africa. Thanks again for attending and I hope you have a better experience at your next UMS event! -Mark Jacobson, UMS Programming Manager

      Reply
      • Thanks for taking the time to respond. I understand your policy and generally support it. I felt this was a separate issue, as this person was particularly annoying – very aggressive, totally self-centered, without any sense of rhythm, in-your-face, even though he was technically on the side of the aisle. I think that 5 minutes after he began (and he never stopped) he lost whatever “freedom” to express himself he inherited. He abused his rights and the audience’s tolerance. The next time he won’t be so lucky.

        Reply
  • avatar

    Great performance and display of talent. The versatile drum added to the energetic vibe of the night and the enticing compositions made for a wonderful experience at the Michigan Theater. A maverick display of the power and force of percussion and its ability to take the form of sounds that one wouldn’t know were possible. Yet another enjoyable night brought upon by this series.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Cheik Lo and his group are absolute rockstars! Their music was entertaining, lively, and wonderful to experience. The percussive instruments used combined with a stellar saxophone player created a unique sound, and the liveliness and excitement of the performers really led to an enjoyable night. This was an interesting choice for a UMS concert, as it toyed the line between proper concert and dance concert. I felt uncomfortable watching the people in front jump up, dance, and put dollar bills in the mouth a performer, but it still seemed as though this easiness was encouraged by the group. An interesting and fun night!

    Reply
    • avatar

      Hi, Amit, Thank you for attending Friday evening’s concert and for posting on the UMS lobby! I think you are spot-on in your assessment of the Cheikh Lô concert “toy[ing] the line between ‘proper’ concert and dance concert.” Much of what Cheikh and his ensemble were performing was unquestionably “dance music” (including rhythmic forms from other parts of the world outside of West Africa including Cuba and the Caribbean) but a healthy portion of the concert presented more introspective pieces which had a more political and social directive behind the lyrics supported by less dance-like, strophic song forms. As you may already know, the tradition of “showering” performers with money is observed across much of the continent of Africa and in many parts of Central Asia (as well as other parts of the world) and is an expression of euphoric praise from audience members to performers. -Mark Jacobson, UMS Programming

      Reply
  • avatar

    A wonderful performance, with so much positive energy, I only wish this might have been out doors somewhere in the prime of summer, everyone dancing and whatnot. The action on stage was incredibly entertaining, and the performers did a great job of expressing themselves instrumentally and physical. The talking drum was absolutely particularly astounding. I had no idea the melodic capabilities of this instrument. I think I’ll be picking one of these up in the future.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Really enjoyed the concert, I second that this would be a great concert during the summer and outdoors!

    Reply
  • avatar

    Cheikh Lo was a very fun, high energy concert. The musicians were really talented and it was definitely a nice change of genre. I wish that the venue had been different. A lot of the audience members were dancing in their seats and others were in the aisles. It would have been great if people had been encouraged to dance or even just had the space to do so. Sitting in your seats quietly and simply clapping at the ends of songs wasn’t really socially appropriate for this performance.

    Reply
    • avatar

      Hi, Brittany, Mark Jacobson here from UMS. Thank you for your attendance at Friday evening’s concert and for your feedback! UMS tries our best to carefully consider appropriate venue options for all of our performance offerings and has ventured into “non-traditional” venues and spaces when an event has dictated so. Back in April 2002 and 2004 UMS presented an Afro-Cuban Dance Party featuring the legendary Celia Cruz and Orchestra Baobab, respectively, at the EMU Convocation Center where both seats and a dance floor were able to be offered to our patrons. Likewise, we presented Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s “Swing Dance Tour” at the EMU Convocation Center in April 2000 when we knew that the performance content would warrant a space beyond what Hill Auditorium could offer us. As Amit mentions in his above post, Cheikh Lô’s Ann Arbor concert seemed to straddle the fence between West African dance hall music (along the lines of Youssou N’Dour’s Super E’toile) and more politically driven ballads and songwriting. That being said, UMS encourages dancing and most forms of (!) personal physical expression on the far-left and -right aisles of the Michigan Theater. -Mark Jacobson, UMS Programming

      Reply
  • avatar

    I loved this performance! The audience was clearly loving it and I really enjoyed that the audience was dancing in the aisles. The energy was tangible and I left with a feeling of sheer happiness. Thank you so much UMS for such a great performance!

    Reply
  • avatar

    It might be a good idea to educate the audience about the cultural differences of some performances in advance. I wanted to surprise my guest with Cheikh Lo’s concert, so I limited information to what she might not expect…. that audience participation would be encouraged, including hand clapping, singing, dancing, showering money on the musicians, jumping on, and dancing on stage. She felt that all of these African traditions added to the authenticity and enjoyment of the concert. We observed those who danced through most of the concert, appreciated their enthusiasm, but were not compelled to stare at them.

    Reply
  • avatar

    I think this was definitely one of the hippest concerts I’ve seen from a UMS program. Keep the world music coming!

    Reply
  • 20

    PERFORMANCES & EVENTS

    Dawnofmidi-new-334x230
    TICKETS

    1/31/2015

    Dawn of MIDI

    Helen and Edgar production
    TICKETS

    1/7-1/10/2015

    Helen & Edgar

    Belcea Quartet
    TICKETS

    10/18/2014

    Belcea Quartet

    Valery Gergiev conductor
    TICKETS

    1/24-1/25/2015

    Mariinsky Orchestra

    Bob James
    TICKETS

    11/15/2014

    Bob James

    Cinderella production
    TICKETS

    4/24-4/26/2015

    Lyon Opera Ballet

    Messiah score on organ
    TICKETS

    12/6-12/7/2014

    Handel’s Messiah

    Gregory Porter
    TICKETS

    10/15/2014

    Gregory Porter

    Kiss and Cry production
    TICKETS

    10/10-10/12/2014

    Kiss & Cry

    Michael Tilson Thomas conducts
    TICKETS

    11/13-11/14/2014

    San Francisco Symphony