To call the Vibonics a hip hop band would be a grave injustice. They’re so much more; infusing elements of rock, R & B, soul, and even jazz into their Wednesday night performance at Measure in Toronto for the North by Northeast festival.
The six-person group comprises two vocalists, a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, and a keyboardist. The vocalists – Tacha and Crossword – bring an amazing duality to the stage. Tacha’s deep and sweet singing pairs perfectly with Crossword’s quick spitting (though Tacha holds her own, to say the least, on the tracks that she raps on).
Crossword also does a great job emceeing the night. The engages the crowd while introducing each track.
“Let me ask you guys a question,” he says. “Have you ever been broke?”
Hands fire into the air and cheers erupt from the crowd.
“Okay, okay. . . Have you ever gone on vacation?”
He surveys the crowd.
“Alright. How many of you have been both of those things at the same time? Okay, this song is about that!”
The band then jumps into an upbeat jam reminiscent of parties on a beach.
And that’s half of the Vibonics’ set – laid-back, up-beat, fun and exciting. The other half is intense, still fun and upbeat, but with more of a serious energy. During those tracks, Crossword bends over, face red, hollering steadily into the mic. Tacha’s fists curl as she sings. On the keys, Laura’s head tilts back slightly, eyes closed, while bassist Jose sways softly from side to side. On the drums, Scott goes nuts, arms flailing, and guitarist Alfred shakes his head to the beat.
The crowd, during those songs – during all songs, actually – mimics that energy, that atmosphere. We sway, we stomp, we bop our heads.
In the end, the Vibonics is the kind of band that projects its energy (it’s vast energy) onto the crowd. It’s a great experience. You should experience it – they’re on tour this summer.
For more on the Vibonics, including where to catch them live, visit vibonics.com.