By: Greg Horowitz
Tonight, I finally made it to the Brooklyn Bowl for the first time in my life, and what a show it was. The opening night of Bowlive, Soulive’s annual residency at the Brooklyn Bowl, is always something special, but this show was a truly memorable experience.
Kicking off the evening was Kung Fu, the Connecticut based jazz/rock/funk fusion powerhouse of musicians that always bring it, every single show. Kung Fu features Tim Palmieri (guitar), Rob Somerville (saxophone), Todd Stoops (keys), Chris DeAngelis (bass) and Adrian Tramontano (drums). The unique pairing of Soulive and Kung Fu together on the stage at the Brooklyn Bowl immediately gave off a festival vibe, which is a real nice treat in the middle of winter.
After a solid set that included powerful solos throughout, Kung Fu gave way to Soulive for the beginning of the 4th annual Bowlive residency.
Their first set was great. Eric Krasno (guitar) killed it on his solos, Alan Evans (drums) led the group on drums, while his brother Neal Evans (organ) tore it up on the keys. The set concluded with special guest John Popper of Blues Traveler joining the guys on stage for two songs including the Blues Traveler original, “Mulling it Over” and “Come Together” by the Beatles.
After the intermission, Soulive emerged back on stage, this time with special guests Luther + Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. These brothers have some serious talent and their chemistry onstage with Soulive was limitless. They connected musically on a level I have never seen with a sit-in performer. Luther later joined Soulive for their instrumental version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” off of their album Rubber Soulive, which I recommend buying immediately if you haven’t already.
Towards the end of their set, Krasno came up to the microphone and announced to the crowd, “I have some good news, and some bad news. Bad news, ?uestlove is not going to be able to make it tonight. Good news, we’re gonna play some more music for ya.” And the crowd erupted with cheers. Soulive then welcomed Luther + Cody back on stage again for a few more jams. They finished the set with a sit-in from Saunders Sermons of the Tedeschi Trucks Band on trombone and vocals.
The first night of Bowlive IV proved to be better than most could have imagined. With 7 more scheduled shows at the Brooklyn Bowl, it is in your best interest to get down there and boogie with the best of them and catch Soulive with various special guests every night.
Some special guests include Sister Sparrow + The Dirty Birds, Robert Randolph, Booker T., The Shady Horns, Nigel Hall, Marco Benevento, DJ Logic, George Porter Jr, Alecia Chakour Band, and many more. Thanks to Soulive, Kung Fu, John Popper, Luther + Cody Dickinson, and Saunders Sermons for a truly phenomenal show at the Brooklyn Bowl for night one of Bowlive IV.