The Soul Rebels Brass Band came to their home away from home, Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg this past weekend on March 29th to mix their New Orleans second-line funk with New York City hip hop as guests helped them along the way.
Friday night had a lineup change only a day before the show as Macy Gray could not attend, but DMX was added as late replacement for the sold-out show. The band is wrapping up their The Way Up tour as DJ Tap.10 started things off with his mix of old school hip hop as he spun over an hour and a half of tunes sliding in the likes of Snoop Dog, Craig Mack, James Brown and The Jungle Brothers with crowd-pleasing ease.
When the Soul Rebels took the stage they immediately dropped into their original “Rebel Rock” warming up by smoothly blowing out the brass as the eight-piece started to roll. The band (Lumar LeBlanc – Snare Drum, Derrick Moss – Bass Drum and Percussion, Manuel Perkins Jr. – Sousaphone, Marcus Hubbard – Trumpet, Julian Gosin – Trumpet, Paul Robertson – Trombone, Corey Peyton – Trombone, Erion Williams – Tenor Saxophone) are old pros at getting the party started with their staccato horn hits, rhyming/singing breaks and hip-shaking beats.
The early section of the show had the group showcasing their tunes like “I’m So Confused” with huge brass rolls and the well-received sing-along of “504”. The Soul Rebels also splashed in their cover of Nas “If I Ruled The World” complete with singing from Robertson and a sax solo from Williams before the first guest of the evening Talib Kweli joined onstage. Kweli ran through his Blackstar classic “The Blast” with upbeat party energy as the band closed out holding one note to close.
The brass band then dipped into their seemingly endless collection of cover tunes blowing an instrumental “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Can I Kick It?” and an extended “Ain’t No Body” from Chaka Khan as they seemed to be killing some time for the finale. It was worth the wait though as DMX ran the stage, causing all bowling to cease as the sold-out crowd was engrossed in “Where The Hood At?”. The white t-shirt clad rapper seemed in high spirits, as the crowd barked approval and the powerful horns punctuated the air around him, proving yet again the mix of NYC hip hop and live NOLA brassy beats is a winning one.