City Paper is not for tourists
Nigerian singer, saxophonist, and bandleader Lágbájá always performs wearing a mask. With a name that translates from Yoruba as “nobody in particular,” the artist has tried to use his image to represent the plight of the seemingly anonymous masses since his debut in 1993. Singing largely in Yoruba and English, Lágbájá periodically switches to his horn and adds a jazzier tone to the Afrobeat-rooted dance rhythms of his band’s keyboards, bass, and drums. Although his latest single, “200 Million Mumu,” and its video take a political tone by mocking former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, Lágbájá also has light-hearted tunes; some evoke Nollywood films and the familiar tropes about how guys (himself included) can mess up romantic relationships. He approaches that theme yet again on the song “Did I?”, a catchy Afro-tropical duet about a liaison that doesn’t work out. Even if you can’t follow every lyrical reference, the skillfully played music and cleverly modulated call and response vocals should get your body swaying in time. Lágbájá performs at 8 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $25–$45. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com.