Straight from the UK, Michael Kiwakuna impressed a packed house at the Phoenix on Tuesday with his soul singing, song writing, and out of this world backing band.
Kiwanuka’s use of both acoustic and electric guitar added to the evenings varied sound, and his backup guitar, bass and dual percussion kept the audience grooving through the entire set. The tunes were original, and he and the band played off each other, jamming and taking his album songs to new, more energetic territory.
Before Kiwanuka took over for a few solo tracks, he and his crew dazzled with their drawn-out version of “This May Be Love” (aka Waterfall) by Jimi Hendrix, who he sited as a massive inspiration. Next, Michael exposed himself to the crowd, sharing an unnamed and unfinished song he is writing, as well as some beautiful material from his debut record Home Again.
The set’s unwelcome finish was followed by a satisfying encore when Kiwanuka and his impressive bassist played a track off his UK release, and followed it with a funky dance party to finish the set with a bang. Needless to say, we are looking forward to hearing more from this impressive young musician.