Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue have gone from opening shows at Terminal 5 to headlining and selling them out in seven months, a great accomplishment, but what was even more impressive was the rabid response the crowd gave him over and over again. There were tons of cheers, full on dance parties and a whole lot of toasting to the New Orleans group as they rocked the Big Apple.
The instrumental “Suburbia” off of Backatown got the fire fueled with its ripping runs and stomps while the group tossed the first of many “Feel Like Funkin’ It Up” teases into the crowd. The cover of “On Your Down” proved to be a soulful break from the dancing, it should be noted as well that there were multiple couples “getting down” all night; a literal love fest was taking place on the Westside of Manhattan. “Encore” from the groups newest release For True was bass heavy with a horn build and drum solo to finish while “Hey!” showcased the most impressive moment of the night. Trombone put down his namesake and picked up a trumpet to embark on over four full minutes of one note using circular breathing; it was a musical feat those in attendance will not forget.
The awe was quickly alleviated by a wild dance party that would run for the rest of the show, as “The Craziest Thing” kicked it off and the crowd never looked back. The band even gave some dance instructions before they each “Backed It Up” in their own unique style on stage. The band mentioned they had no curfew and would play all night NOLA style and dove into a set closing James Brown Medley which showcased Orleans Avenue as Trombone decided to play conductor and bandleader while the fellows behind him propelled the sound. Troy Andrews (Shorty’s real name) has charisma pouring from him, he delighted the house and showed how all around talented he is.
The encore of “Show Me Something Beautiful” had horn phrasing that mixed with the female squeals. The band couldn’t stop and it didn’t stop as the horns made their way off the stage and paraded through the crowd playing “When The Saints Go Marching In” and “Feel Like Funkin’ It Up” before they returned and everyone switched instruments to complete the party mood with Shorty slamming the drums with the venue lights raised. It was a party on a Friday night and the New Orleans group did not disappoint, bringing the funk/soul/rock that makes them a must catch live, just make sure to strap on your dancing shoes, you will need them.