Live New Orleans

Cibo Matto

House of Blues

August 31, 1999

Cibo Matto was touring behind their second album, "Stereotype A," whose singles had invaded the KLSU playlists. Those songs got me to drive down to New Orleans, but I ended up enjoying the whole concert.

Cibo Matto was Yuka Honda and vocalist Miho Hatori, two Japanese ex-patriates who met in New York City. They made a name for themselves among the hip underground with their powerful live shows and independent singles "Know Your Chicken" and "Birthday Cake." They got signed and their first album, "Viva La Woman!" followed. At their House of Blues concert, the two were joined by bassist Sean Lennon, drummer Timo Ellis(he was very impressive) and rapper/percussionist Duma Love.

The best thing about the concert was that Cibo Matto would seamlessly follow romantic Morcheeba-like trance song "Moonchild" with dramatic rap anthem "Sci-Fi Wasabi." It was refreshing hearing pop culture references coming from foreign women with their accents intact. Imagine a diminuative woman delivering the tight rhyme: "Obi Wan Kenobi/told me/in the lobby." Hatori and Honda spit rhymes back and forth, while Duma added some creedence with his background vocals.

Cibo Matto's quirky lyrics about food, love, and disses were complemented by their quirky music: funk samples, hip-hop rhythms, tape loops, fractured pop melodies, and sludge metal("Blue Train").

This kind of music had the makings of an extravanganza, especially with Hatori and Honda's energetic and party-girl attitudes. I rocked with the music the whole time. It was one intelligent soundscape after another.

At the same time, there were more primordial, chant-heavy crowd-pleasers like "Know Your Chicken" and "Birthday Cake" that I banged my head to. During "Chicken," Honda had the left side of the crowd move to a specific part of the song, while the right side did the same for the other part. Everybody was jumping all over the place, anyway.

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