The word Antibalas, in the name of the band Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, means “anti-bullets” in Spanish. Afrobeat was the brainchild of Nigerian Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. His idea was to empower people suffering under cruel dictators in Africa. Since his passing, the Orchestra has taken it upon themselves to continue his legacy. This 14-piece band combines what they call “monstrous horns and bass, polyrhythmic beats and funky breaks” with fiery leftist politics. Notes on their Web site read “every Antibalas show is a dance party and life-affirming celebration.” Their travels have taken them to every corner of the earth from Chicago to Istanbul and back again. They have also opened for artists such as James Brown, No Doubt, Wyclef Jean and Trey Anastasio.Martin Pierna, the baritone saxophonist, joined all 14 pieces of this diverse group six years ago. The group is comprised of Latinos, Caucasians, African-Americans, Africans and Asian-Americans. They all share a recording studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn where they also frequently perform.Body parts flying, sweaty dreads beating against human flesh, the sound of a million hearts beating to the rhythm – that’s what you can expect from one of their shows. Even the free-form dancers with their gyrating pelvises and pumping chests cannot remove their attention from the stage and the dozen or so musicians playing what seems to be the beautiful coming together of a political rally and an African drum circle.So at the very least, songs like “War Is a Crime,” “Hypocrite” and “World Without Fear” will get you dancing, if not revolutionizing. They will be performing tonight at Water Street Music Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m. For ticket information call Aaron’s Alley at (585) 244-5044 and for venue information visit can be reached at

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