A wonderfully brisk night should always be capped off with an intense musical experience, one that I was promised when deciding to check out Shinobi Ninja at The Hall at MP. I cased out the venue as suspect as I possibly could be, listening from outside to the jazz playing inside of the New Orleans themed bar/restaurant. First to come on was the host Soul Khan to bring on the opening act Oswin Benjamin, who you might know for doing Sway in the Morning last November, got ‘real’ and sat on the stage to sing for the crowd, then started spitting. That made me appreciate his music even more. He did well, leading into Cross Culture, a hip-hop/rock/funk/soul collective. This was a large group including a rapper, musicians and 3 singers in a setup that reminded me of Motown (I love Motown btw). The singers sang and the spitter spit many a song with great melody, bringing the realness that can never be copied. They utilized their time well, impressing me enough to want to listen to them after the show.

After the crowd was warmed up the Ninjas came out, as stealthy as a group of musicians can be, took the torch and ran. The closing act, the home-town heroes, hard rockin’, hip-hoppin’ band Shinobi Ninja fresh off of their stint at SXSW (Video interview from that coming soon). They came on around midnight, but made certain that nobody could stay seated. The one thing I had heard beforehand was that their stage presence is electric, pure soul transfused into the bloodstream of music. This was certainly verified as I watched them perform. Shinobi Ninja has the eclectic sounds that appeals to any music lover. They have an authenticity that makes a huge difference in creating music and they know it.

The Ninjas came out with intentions of entertaining, they have fun on stage and they bring the artistic chops as well. They played a good amount of songs like “Bang Bang” and “Subcon” and a great song that I remember from the NBA 2k12 game, “Rock Hood” which I find so cool, like an ode to the 90’s music which I love. They ended the night in the 90’s vibe with covers of popular hits like “I Got the Power” (1990) and further back with “Another Brick in the Wall”, (1979). Their two main vocalists commanded the stage throughout their set while their bass and guitar players passionately head-banged with their hair flying up and down like a balloon in a tornado. Everyone wished they had long hair after the night was over, I have short hair and when I rock out it looks like I’m trying to get water out of my ears.

The energy was exciting, the talent was endless, the future of local music is impressive. Support local musicians and definitely follow these acts if you enjoy them!


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Photos © Henry Rodgers. All Rights Reserved.

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