A wide ranging variety of musical styles were on display at the Brooklyn Bowl, often times within the same song, as a trio of bands took to the venues stage. Opening things the Brooklyn based Shinobi Ninja performed a blender approach to genres, immediately evident as everything from hip-hop to reggae to metal were on display from the energetic players.
The homegrown Brooklyn vibe continued as Animus Rexx took over next. The group slowed down the “everything goes” idea though with their style; self described as “organic electronica”. The bowling alley transformed into a hip lounge for their laid back set of repetitive beats and keyboard builds.
The out of town headliners took their time setting up as a larger than normal presence was onstage for this show; the New Orleans based Dumpstaphunk were joined by the Steeltown Horns from Pittsburgh, PA. Also touring with the band was new drummer Alvin Ford Jr. Ex-drummer Nikki Glaspie’s presence both on the drums and mic were sorely missed having an added a new flair to the band during her time on the throne. Ford Jr. was a steady replacement however fitting easily into the NOLA sound.
The horn section, along with Natalie Cressman on trombone and vocals, added some punch to the playing but the band seemed to be taking it easy with their short set during night one of a two night Brooklyn stand. Ivan Neville (Keys) Tony Hall (Bass) Ian Neville (Guitar) Nick Daniels III (Bass) are truly one of the powerhouse funk bands performing today and when they catch a groove few outfits can match them, but tonight that epic height seemed slightly out of reach.
The dueling bassists Hall and Daniels instantly make this band unique and fired up their chops with meaty solo’s, especially during the groups shout along “Meanwhile”. The Cressman led cover of Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall gem “Working Day and Night” was a good example of the set as a whole; funky playing that never gelled beyond what was hinted at during its extended run time.
In the end the show closer of “Water” came way too soon as the group has been known to play for extended outings, but on this night the wrap up was commenced before both band and crowd really cut loose.