Forro in the Dark Inspires Dancing in the Dark

June 16th, 2009

Forro in the Dark – The Bowery Ballroom – June 10, 2009

Forro in the Dark
“This music is good for dancing.” That was the self-proclaimed truism announced by Forro in the Dark after their first song at The Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday. And dance we did. Playing music inspired by their native Brazil, the band played a set that went straight to the joints like an oil can to the Tin Man. Once lubricated, the knees, hips, ankles and elbows were free and loose to obey the rhythm.

The band stood five across the stage: bass, guitar, flute/sax, bass drum and percussion. In Forro in the Dark, the bass and drums are more percussive than anything and the band forms a pulsing drum circle around deep, groovy flute. It’s a rare thing when the most compelling instrument is the triangle, but Forro in the Dark features quite possibly the funkiest triangle you could imagine.

The spacing between audience members was perfect for grooving in whatever manner desired. Small groups of women filled the front with informal boogying, a couple danced a sort-of samba in a studied embrace, lone men swiveled and bopped while others just looked on sipping their beers and smiling. It was perfect Wednesday-in-June music: The music of cold drinks, open-toed shoes, short sleeves and halter tops, of summer on its way. —A. Stein