Bowlive: Night Nine

Words By Karen Dugan (tinyrager)

“Come Together” was the first song on Soulive’s set list this evening. For the hundred or so die-hards that have frequented The Brooklyn Bowl every night for the past two weeks, this song choice had significance buried among all of the hugs and smiles that occurred when the tune began. A family of old and new friends and musicians have bonded over this run to bring Soulive’s performances a step closer to perfection each night. These last two nights help define the song that started the closing of one of the greatest musical residencies of 2011.

Grammy winning vocalist and guitarist Van Hunt opened the night with his mellow yet vibrant vocals. With influences from David Bowie to Thelonious Monk to Iggy Pop, Van Hunt was again another artist whose talent folded seamlessly into the musical family. Towards the end of Hunt’s set, Eric Krasno sat-in on bass for a few songs from Hunt’s On the Jungle Floor album.

The Soulive set was fire, but seriously, when is it not? Yonrico Scott (The Derek Trucks Band) was behind his rig again much like the previous night. Karl Denson (Greyboy Allstars) and Maurice Brown, the night’s special guests, came out during “Turn It Up”, and that is exactly what they did. The musical perfection that took place on last night’s stage was unbelievable. Denson and Maurice destroyed “Rudy’s Way” with their saxophone, flute and trumpets getting a major work out. Ironically, “Anything to Get Your Attention” was next and all eyes were glued to the stage as Yonrico Scott, Alecia Chakour, Nigel Hall and Van Hunt brought the smooth get down. However, without question, the highlight of the set was when The Shady Horns, consisting of Ryan Zoidis, James Casey, and Igmar Thomas, fell into a massive jam with Maurice Brown and Karl Denson during Van Hunt’s “Hot Stage Lights” to close out the set.

Things got heady during the second set, more so then any of the previous night’s performances. As the second set hit, Eric Krasno, Alan Evans and Neal Evans grooved their way through “Aladdin.” All three musicians were in their element with huge smiles. Kofi Burbridge delivered us a gorgeous performance on his flute for “Uncle Jr.,” where he and Karl traded licks with their instruments for the hungry audience. The soulful vocals of Alecia Chakour and Nigel Hall came together for a slow duet on “Bewildered.” The range of their vocals might be endless; their harmonizing, magnificent. Hall and Chakour continued with Frankie Beverly & Maze’s “Joy and Pain”. Hall dropped to his knees to sing the chorus, and as Chakour followed suit, she brought the audience down with her as it exploded with applause due to the excellent theatrics. Chris Rob and James Hurt joined on keys and Adam Deitch (Break Science) jumped on drums as the rest of the Royal Family raged the stage through a killer “Hat Trick”!!!

The end of the night shifted gears into a hip-hop rage with Adam Detich and Borham Lee’s Break Science set. During certain songs, members of the Shady Horns took turns coming to the front of the stage and inserting their funk over the heavy beats. This was a special treat as trumpeter Igmar Thomas alongside saxophonists Ryan Zoidis and James Casey offered the audience a layered sound of soul and funk over this typically hard-edged set of music.

For the ninth night, another party had occurred on the Brooklyn Bowl stage. The theme of family and togetherness fully reinforced the magic of the music, the magic of another night of Bowlive 2. With bittersweet emotions, next time we roll into the Brooklyn Bowl it will be to close out this phenomenal ten-night residency. If it were not for their weary bodies telling them to rest, the members of Soulive would continue to play ‘til its members’ limbs fell off. Soulive fans would certainly appreciate that offering as this residency has become an addiction to some audience members. I couldn’t imagine being at any other show in any part of the world other than the upcoming tenth and final night of Bowlive 2…

Read Karen's Full Article on The Royal Family Blog.


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