Vulfpeck played a four night stand in New York City last week, starting with a concert in Central Park and ending with 3 shows at Brooklyn Bowl. I was lucky enough to be in attendance at their closing show on Saturday night.
For those of you who have never had the pleasure of attending a Vulfpeck show, let me tell you a little bit about what happens. They are a funk band made up of college friends from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. What makes them different than other bands is their showmanship and musical talent. You don’t just get a concert, you get a full scale spectacle of a show.
For starters, most of them are multi instrumentalists, so there is a lot of switching instruments going on. There are two drummers and one drum set, several keyboards, lots of guitars and all sorts of percussion instruments. The changing of instruments becomes part of the show itself. They climb on amps to get back to the drums, and run across stage to get to the other keyboard. As if that weren’t enough excitement for you, this particular night they had a bunch of special guests, which included: “The World’s Most Recorded Drummer” Bernard Purdie, Cory Wong on guitar, Joey Dosik on sax and keys, Melissa Gardiner on trombone, Tomek Miernowski on guitar and Antwaun Stanley on vocals. Rachael Price from Lake Street Drive came out and sang a song, and Darren Criss, a fellow University of Michigan alum, joined them for the encore.
The music itself is highly entertaining and infectious. I mean, how can you not love a song called “Funky Duck“? Listen to it once and I promise you, you will be singing it the rest of the day. To top it all off, they have one of the best bass players around- Joe Dart. Even if you were like me and knew nothing of funk music or bass solos, when Joe plays, it will absolutely blow your mind.
Saturday’s show was one of the best I’ve seen and I’ve been going to their shows since 2013. Every time they perform it’s funkier, with more energy and leaves me wanting more. Some of the highlights include Theo Katzman getting out from behind the drum set to sing a few songs, including “Back Pocket”, and his sweet tenor voice is music to your ears. Antwaun Stanley joined the band for vocals on “Funky Duck” and “1612” and got the crowd all riled up. There was a lot of audience participation, and the songs are easy to sing, so even if it was your first time, you’d have no problem following along. Towards the end of the show, Jack Stratton did a handstand and held it through several beats while the audience counted.
The highlight of this show for me had to have been when Darren Criss, formerly of Glee, came out on stage for the encore and sang Hanson’s “MMMBop” together with Theo Katzman. Bernard Purdie even joined them on drums. It was the perfect end to a great show.
You can tell that they all had a blast! Check out the smiles on their faces. I left with a similar smile on my face. I can’t wait to see them again soon. Below are the photos from from Saturday’s show.
Their new album The Beautiful Game is coming out October 17, 2016. You can preorder it here.