DakhaBrakha onstage at Penn Live Arts, March 3, 2024
DakhaBrakha is what might happen if the B-52s sang in Ukrainian and could time travel.

The highlight of my month was seeing DakhaBrakha live for the first time. Their sold-out show at Penn Live Arts on March 3 was every bit as awesome as I expected.

DakhaBrakha describe their music as “ethnic chaos” but I think that name greatly understates what they actually do. To my ears, their sound is like what might happen if the B-52s sang in Ukrainian and had a time machine they could use to jam with any band in the world from the last several hundred years.

DakhaBrakha stand onstage to solicit donations for Ukrainian humanitarian relief.
Every DakhaBrakha concert is also a fundraiser for Ukraine, as it should be.

Their concert in Philly was moving not just from the pure energy and emotion of the music, but also because they centered Ukraine’s current struggle throughout. The accompanying visuals often referenced the war, wounded Ukrainian soldiers were invited onstage to speak, and donations were solicited to fund humanitarian relief efforts. A class act in every way.

DakhaBrakha onstage auctioning off a handmade plate featuring their likeness.
A lucky audience member (sadly not me) won this plate in a spirited auction.

If you’re curious about DakhaBrakha, start with this NPR Music Tiny Desk concert, which was my gateway drug to the band. You just might get addicted too.