Live Review: Pamyua

First Congregational Church  Los Angeles ,CA

Web: pamyua.com

Contact: [email protected]

Players: Phillip Blanchett, vocals; Stephen Blanchett, vocals; Ossie Kairaiuak, vocals;

Karina Moeller, vocals; Kristopher Reenberg, keys, bass; Sara Anderholm, keys;

Eiden Pofpifil, drums; Marie Meade, dance

Material: Indigenous, Native Alaskans is what Pamyua call themselves. All of them are part of Native American Indian tribes of their forefathers and gladly vocalize their message using their voices. Traditional Native American chants are mixed in with the traditional tom-toms to recreate the very familiar Indian sounds and beats we all grew up with and love. Mix that with modern R&B, rap and pop and you have a unique sound.

Musicianship: The backing band is excellent in their play. They keep things tight for the vocalists as they chant, groove and rap for the audience. The drums, a major part of the Indian culture, is headed by Pofpifil, behind a kit. He leads the way for the others, who have shaman, handheld drums, and together at this show they thumped the hell out that church. Reenberg held down double duty (bass and keys), and Anderholm tickled her keys with effortless grace. Together they formed a great team.

Performance: The backdrop to this performance was a beautiful church with fabulous architecture that was 50 feet high and encapsulated some of the most beautiful carvings, models and statues you have ever seen. Throw on top of that some fine vocals and you have a great evening of music. Each singer was clearly heard and each was at the top of their game as they crooned and serenaded the audience to their feet to dance. Everyone had a great time hearing stories of the singers’ past and how they came to be a group. 

Summary: Pamyua is popularizing their ancestral sounds and mixing them with modern-day, R&B, rap and pop and attracting a younger generation because of it. Their sound is very modern while it still holds the older, traditional Native American Indian vibe. They are quite modern in their sound, with great harmonies coming from all vocalists. The chants are unintelligible and difficult to relate to, but Pamyua connected with the audience, regardless, and made them understand. Good performance, overall. The only thing missing was the headdress. – Pierce Brochetti