“We’re bringing you an evening of Southern black girl magic tonight Portland.”
Adia Victoria summed up the evening perfectly when she uttered those words from the Mississippi Studios stage during a set that saw both she and impressive opener Amenta Abioto captivated the crowd with wildly original sets consisting of very different music.
Although her music had been recommended to me before, I went into Amenta Abioto’s set having no idea what to expect and had one of those “holy shit!” moments that make live music so exciting. Abioto’s music consists of her building songs live on stage via repeated loops of her soulful voice layered over different incarnations of itself—and Abioto can shift the tone and feel of her voice with amazing dexterity. Abioto alternated between hunching over her equipment and dancing animatedly while singing her ass off. High, low, intense, delicate; she ably executed each shift in tone in such a fashion that it was impossible to keep track of how many different layers she had going at once. Both Amenta Abioto’s music and performance were original in every sense of the word, and I was clearly not the only one taken aback by her performance, as the Portland-via-Memphis artist left the stage to rapturous applause—it’s been many moons since I’ve seen an opener receive such a send-off.