Oakland’s Beats Antique debuted in 2007 with their unique blend of the world fusion and electronic genres, performance art and live instruments. Muti-instrumentalist David Satori seamlessly brings a variety of world influences into the mix, from Middle Eastern styles to afro-beat. The group’s dancer, Zoe Jakes, further experiments with a variety of dance forms such as belly dancing and Indian dance (not to mention that she can walk around with a vase balanced on her head). The two are joined by their versatile drummer, Tommy Cappel. This constantly innovative group is currently working on a new stage production for their Fall 2013 show to accompany their upcoming album, A Thousand Faces. We’re never quite sure what to expect from Beats Antique after they convinced KEXP staffers to dance around in animal masks during their 2011 in-studio performance.
On a post-Burning Man vibe, Satori, Cappel and Jakes arrived at the KEXP Bumbershoot Music Lounge. Not only did Zoe Jakes own the stage while balancing a huge vase on her head, she pulled out amazing dance moves with it on her head, gracefully sliding into the splits during “Egyptic.” Jakes’ dancing is the perfect complement to Satori and Cappel’s music, fluently embodying such a variety of influences. Ditching the vase for a drum (no, not on her head), the performance art continued with “Beauty Beats.” Jakes waltzed around the stage, drum in hand, falling into place with the beat laid out by Cappel.
While Jakes ran off stage for a costume change, Satori switched things up with what he referred to as an “electric turkish banjo plus slide” for a brand new song from their upcoming concept album A Thousand Faces. Even with Jakes gone, the duo didn’t spare the theatrics. The two were accompanied by drastic lighting changes faultlessly tuned with the music.
Jakes returned to stage in an even more elaborate outfit, complete with headdress for “Colony Collapse.” For the finale of “Cat Skillz,” the wide-eyed animal masks were revived. Suddenly random audience members had morphed into horses and were running onto the stage to dance with the band. Jakes once again returned, this time in a cat-like mask and unitard. The beastly mayhem culminated in a giant inflatable squid attack, the band members and participants struggling under the colossal tentacles.