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Concert Review: Victor Wooten @ the Keswick Theater, June 8, 2012
I did not write this review, but I was at the concert.
This was written by Soul-Patrol's Philly coordinator David Brooks (Dr. Brookenstien).
One of the things about most concert reviews that I don't like is that very rarely is....
:::THE TRUTH EVER TOLD:::
(that's because there are always "some people" who DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW THE TRUTH)
And that is a shame, cuz if there is anyplace where THE TRUTH IS OBVIOUS FOR ALL TO SEE, it is AT A CONCERT
Well I was there @ the Keswick and let me tell you something...
DR. BROOKENSTIEN IS TELLIN YALL THE TRUTH ABOUT VICTA
:::::and I am glad that I was there to bear witness to it:::::
Review of VICTOR WOOTEN
At The Keswick Theatre - Glenside, PA (4-1-08)
Okay, funk fans...here it goes.....a review from the Victor Wooten show at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside,
PA (4/1/08)....please bear me as I may have momentary lapses of unconsciousness during this review....
UNDERSTAND THAT ABOUT 26 HOURS OR SO AGO, I WAS SUBJECTED TO THE MOST POTENT, POTENTIALLY LETHAL DRUG EVER KNOWN TO MAN.....NO, NOT HEROIN....NO, NOT PCP....NO, NOT CRACK......I'M TALKING ABOUT VICTOR WOOTEN AND HIS BAND OF VIRTUOSOS!!!!
UNDERSTAND THAT I JUST WOKE UP ABOUT A HOUR AGO!! I'M TALKING ABOUT SOME BRAIN DAMAGE GOIN' ON HERE!!
And as the Prince song (1999) goes, "I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray!"
At 7:45pm, the nearly sold-out theatre was exposed to musicians playing a terrifying blend of funk, jazz and world music, under the guidance of possibly the best bass virtuoso on this side of the galaxy, MR. VICTOR WOOTEN!! "Cambo" was the first song (a nasty funk-jazz tune) featuring violin riffs and chant vocals by Ali......the basswork of Victor was fast and in-your-face nasty-funky!!
The second tune was another funk tune that focused on a spiritual theme, speaking about a world past this world where money means nothing and what is in your heart means everything. "I Saw God" (obviously more spiritual stuff) was a reggae/world music tune that featured a sing-along for the audience. On the next song, Steve Wineguard (new keyboardist) was burnin' it
up on his piano solo ....Victor and Anthony Wellington began singing to him "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" (Victor said "We're an Equal Opportunity Band").
"Left, Right and Center" was DA BOMB, because it was Derrico Watson's moment to shine.....well, this guy was shining like 10,000 suns as he was funky and steady, then fast, then super-fast, back to steady & funky, doing tempo changes unexpectedly.....I call "beautiful chaos", baba!! Everyone had a solo on "Left, Right and Center" with Anthony droppin' the nastiest poppin' bass funk (it was on like popcorn, baba), Regi Wooten soaring into rock guitar heaven, Steve funkin' with the keys, and Victor sending bombastic bass waves throughout the Keswick Theatre (you could hear the windows rattle to the point of ALMOST exploding)!! Derrico then proceeded to knock the walls down with some serious lethal, power drum riffs.......(I was wondering, was that drum riffing OR A MACHINE GUN SPRAYING AMMO??)!!! The audience was left to cool off with the beautiful, angelic voice of Saundra Williams doing a lovely R&B ballad. "Sifu" was another song that featured Ali on chant vocals. Victor gave a shoutout to the teacher that taught him how to play bass, his brother Regi....who began playing violin chords on his guitar for a minute, before switching to some nasty, distorted rock guitarisms
...THEN, REGI BEGAN TO BEAT THE STRINGS AT THE NECK OF THE GUITAR LIKE HE WAS PLAYING CONGAS.....JUST VERY, VERY FAST BEATING....LOOKING LIKE AN EPILETIC ON A LIVE WIRE AND
(oops, sorry about that. I just regained consciousness) anyway, he had the guitar lit up with blue lights and began playing it with a microphone and seconds later with his teeth!!!!!!!!!
Victor began a bass solo (A VERY LONG one), where he was playing some mellow bass riffs to a programmed bass line. After turning off the programmed bass, he continued with the mellow riffs and began to unexpectedly interject with a nasty
poppin' bass riff, down & dirty slap bass riff, or (the deadliest) supersonic-speed, earth-trembling bass
workout (WHERE YOU WOULD SEE AN EXTRA 6 ARMS APPEAR OUT OF NOWHERE)
(oops, sorry. I'm back).....................
Of course, Anthony was supposed to be featured next, and he was correct in sayin' to Victor "Do you THINK I play bass after the solo YOU did????" Actually, there was a surprise guest hiding out in the audience, a Philly-based bass legend by the name of Gerald Veasley and Victor invited him to play. Before the next song, Victor remarked "Y'know, back in the day, all good bass players were TALL!" (what a jokester!! LOL!) Gerald was playing some smooth jazz bassisms over the funky, slow groove of the band. Victor remarked that he liked Gerald because he had that "touch"....that he liked to stand close and watch so he can feel that "touch"....and he and Anthony stood very close and watched Gerald.....Victor even got his notepad to jot down notes!!
After Gerald left the stage, Anthony came back and remarked, "I just thought of something, I got to follow Victor AND Gerald....how did THAT happen??????????" The next song "Flex" was A MONSTROUS TUNE OF MOMUMENTAL PROPORTION, THANKS TO
ANTHONY "Why I Got to Follow Victor?" WELLINGTON.......no disappointment from Bass Player #2 of this band, AS HE LAID DOWN THE NASTIEST, LOUDEST, NOXIOUS, ODORIOUS RAPID-FIRE, FUNKY SLAP BASS RIFFING.........I had to...
let's try this again)........
I had to get up and run to the front entrance for some air 'CUZ IT WAS TOO FUNKY UP IN THERE!!! DAY-UM!!!!!!!!! As Anthony continued to peel the paint off the walls with HIS FUNKY BASS, Regi and Victor were playing some super-fast funky guitar & bass solos! And the jazzy piano riffing was also good, too.
ANOTHER SURPRISE, Y'ALL........P-Funk legendary keyboardist, BERNIE WORRELL, was in the house and was invited to the stage.....I put on my silver Bootsy hat and run like hell to the right side of the room, where I can get my funk on, dancing to the WOO-derful funk synthesizer riffs of the WOO-man himself (The WOO-Funk is your funk, the motherlode of your funk!) The song that Bernie was playing was one of P-Funk legendary hits, "Tear the Roof Off the Sucka"......and Victor,
Regi and Anthony were singing the chorus. The band ended the show with a nice feel-good song called "Miss U". The extravaganza ended at 10:05pm.
Soul-Patrol.com Philly Coordinator
Philly: Bootsy Collins @ the Keswick Theater, June 15, 2012
I did not write this review either, but I was at the concert.
This was written by Soul-Patrol's own ELP.
Review of BOOTSY COLLINS
At The Keswick Theatre - Glenside, PA (6-25-2011)
That classic Bootsy's Rubber Band title serves as an apropos backdrop for what I'm about to write. Soul Patrol SHO must resemble the movie Groundhog Day to some of you. But it's all about the funk so I don't think y'all will mind. The Bootsy Collins show rolled into town this weekend at Glenside's Keswick Theatre. The cast for this production resembled some funky version of a pre-Soul Patrol Convention. That's because (no coincidence perhaps?) no fewer than 7 members are also members of Soul Patrol. There was The Bootsy Girls (aka- Nu Soul Family aka Guitar Sallye and Tamah- mo bout dem at anotha time), Bernie Worrell, TM Stevens, Oowee Collins (Bootsy's son), Kyle Jason, Frankie Kash Waddy and HardGroove (the bass playa from The Fine Arts Militia). If that aint enough fo' ya Joel Razor Sharp Johnson on keyboards and the Cincinatti Horns were all present and accounted for. As far as this show was concerned it was nothing new under the sun if you've ever been to a Bootsy Collins concert SANS P-Funk/Parliafunkadelicment/Funkadelic.
You see I've attended at least two other 'all Bootsy' shows and let me tell you this is a whole notha experience! Right off the bat while attending the sound check I noticed more amplification equipment than I've seen at a funk concert in a long,long time. It reminded of the all-white supplementary amplification rigs Sly and em used to bring to the stage back in the day. Subsequently the sound emitted was easily some of the most teeth chattering, Thor/Hulk-smash-earthquakian-ground-splitting-cacophony that one could imagine! A brief word of comparison here. Stanley, Larry and Bootsy. While Larry is the man when it comes to string-popping-sub-bass-soul-massaging-funk and Stanley COULD do all of this but opts mostly to just play (and outplay errybody else) his ass off!
But Bootsy and his Mootron/fuzz-wha thunder? It's sum else altogether. What this man does has it's roots in Graham based black funk rock but instead of just hitting groovy bass lines he goes for the very depths of mined pure funk by adding this Hendrixian element of distortion,speed, feedback and dexterity to his playing. What you end up with is bass as guitar,bass and drum sonically fused into one eye-watering entity. He does these nasty,NASTY accents that Frankie Kash catches in a way that only a cat can that has worked with someone for over thirty years. Here's another thing worth pointing out. Prince, Kid Creole, Janelle Monae and Michael Jackson...and of course Bootsy. These people (including the youngun Janelle) are the only folks ballsy enough on this planet to approximate The James Brown experience through performance. While JB had some 'heels' of his own Prince's presentation is almost every bit as dynamic but often takes off into other directions due to his sheer talent and musicianship. Ms. Monae has yet to fully make her bones but Lord knows she understands what it's about. Kid Creole also has the field general thing down pat but he aint necessarily a dancer. Everybody knows the MJ connection. Bootsy having actually worked for and put up with endless hours of abuse,rehearsals and on-the-road antics with the Gawdfatha hissef has consequently honed the sound,rhythm and feel of The JBE to a T. Musically speaking this all feels like you're at a JB show. From Bootsy's rhythmic patter on the one and to the beat to the sly sexual innuendo that even JB wasn't above or beyond. As TM Stevens said to me:"other cats go for other things but this show is about percolating". Further, this is a true REVUE. TM Stevens, Kyle Jason and the band itself alternately get moments to shine while Boot makes costume changes. From the opening crack we're inundated with funk in it's purest form.
Aaaah The Name is Bootsy/ What's The Name of This Town?...right into Psychotic Bumpskool The Pinnochio Theory Hollywood Squares Mothership Connection-bridge only-Swing Down Sweet Chariot Cosmic Slop.
This was all prepared in the greasiest bacon fat yo momma left on the stove. The house stunk all to be damned and EVERYBODY was funkin! Cosmic Slop was a little wooden and stiff but overall the introduction montage was really enough to warm you up. Then came the TM Stevens show Tributes to Hendrix (Purple Haze) and Eddie Hazel (Red Hot Mamma w/Bernie Worrell doin lead vocals) and of course featuring screaming meemie guitar solos from Blackbyrd McKnight. I Want To Take You Higher was the Sly tribute. Finally there was a nice Bernie Worrell Parliament tribute with his signature tune Flashlight. At this point Oowie jumps into the fray and does a cute lil line dance inspired call-and-response thing with the audience. To be honest this was like a three ring circus. There was so much goin on at the same time that I struggled to keep up. Funk,carnival, go-go-dancing from Pam Collins (The Boot's wife), Bernie's never ending keyboardactic antics and of course Bootsy hissef.
Now Bootsy's back...new costume as we enter into the stank nasty slow drag Delfonics/Newbirth/Moments portion of the show. Why did I mention those groups? Because Bootsy has ALWAYS had this Doo-Wop passion. It's just that his version of Doo-wop is steeped in the 70's slow-drag-funk of groups like those mentioned above. He loves those almost dopey singalong tunes like Music To Make You Smile By, Very Yes, Cant Stay Away and Love Vibrations.
Munchies For Your Love (2011 remix-led mostly by Kyle Jason) I'd Ratha Be With You What's a Telephone Bill. This segment is good show-biz nasty. Lots of outright sex here WITHOUT one actual cuss or use of the word directly (i.e. finger funkin etc.) What can I tell you? The man is a Scorpio.He's always had this as a part of his act. There was lots of drum/bass accent interplay. Breaking the band waaaay down with heavily accented compound triplets. It felt very much like someone punching you in your chest...real hard. This all made the sensuality and sexuality even more punctuated. Naturally, once this segment was complete there was a need of a break of sorts. Enter the Kyle Jason Show. This song was a dedication/tribute to the late great Phelps Catfish Collins. The name of the tune was Don't Take My Funk Away. Kyle Jason is one helluva vocalist and we really hope that he, TM and several of these other folks make it to the convention this year. He told me after the show that Bootsy informed him that Mudbone will not be available for this tour. Bootsy basically turned the reins of the vocal section to him. He wondered if Kyle could handle it. Kyle answered in the affirmative and he acquitted himself just fine thank you. This was another of those sing-song tunes that I spoke about. It has an irresistible hook and if it was played on the radio it might be a nice hit. I swear Kyle invoked Sam Cooke on this ode to the funk progenitors. Nice horns and chord changes as well. He poured his heart out and gave it the sweet soul necessary. A nice break in the action.
Boot's back agin.
A soggy One Nation...followed by a long stage freeze frame....very long...for dramatic effect. He used to have eerie strobe lighting and ghostly apparitions for this part because...you guessed it...it's time for... HALLELUJAH!!!!! Stretchin Out- full of explosions and bombast. Lots of syncopation and poly rhythms all wrapped up in Bootsy's thunderous space bass. This led to a part of the song called 'Touch' where Bootsy literally reaches out and touches his audience. There's so much to say about this part that I'm going to have to save it for lata. Suffice to say he literally hugged,kissed,rocked,danced and held hands with as much of the audience as was humanly possible. This lasted at least fifteen minutes. The band percolated and did what musicians do when in a certain key and left to their own devices to fill time: go through all the tunes in the funk catalogue in that key. This included Dr. Funkenstein, Night Of The Thumpasaurus Peoples (horn line replete), Children of Production and of course the now standard P-Funk coda- the Disco-To-Go riff...followed by Bootsy's signature ok-ok BYE! The whole ensemble came back for a rousing Mothership Connection. I once told you that Cholly Wilson had em strutting out singing There Goes My Baby. The EXACT thing happened here. This 3/4 full house was so happy and full of funk that they strutted out singing Swing Down...I wanna Ride..and If you hear any noise it's just me and the boys. The demographic here was the most difficult for me to categorize ever. 60/40 Black/White. Average house age was 50. I know young white folk love P-Funk and represent a new generation of funkateers. George Clinton is an institution but if these white folk were 50 and up (so were the black folk) then we're not talkin Body Slam or Groove Is In The Heart (neither tune was performed by de way). We're talking a crowd that was all about the baby-bobbas if you know what I mean. Part of Bootsy's original appeal was that he seemingly in his cartoon persona emulated the cool drugged out vibe of Jimi Hendrix. That is blues based funk rock with those hip ass lines like scuse me while I kiss the sky. You remember Funkadelic's Be My Beach which basically introduced Bootsy to the funk community. So the sex and Hendrix and the Sly/JB influenced bass flagrations are what made Bootsy. You gotta see this exhibit before it's too late. These cats all look like this tour could be their last. Not health wise but jus because...there just aint no farm system and if you're to hear it...please hear it RIGHT!
Hire A Band
Philly: Victor Wooten @ the Keswick Theater, June 8, 2012
Philly: Victor Wooten @ the Keswick Theater, June 8, 2012. If you are within 100 miles of Philadelphia and you call yourself a FUNKATEER.....DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW (see the review from below to see what I am talking about)
Philly: Bootsy Collins @ the Keswick Theater, June 15, 2012
Philly: Bootsy Collins @ the Keswick Theater, June 8, 2012. Can't makew it to see Victa? Well I'm giving you anotha INJECTION OF FUNK NEXT WEEK WITH BOOTSY. If you are within 100 miles of Philadelphia and you call yourself a FUNKATEER.....DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW (see the review from below to see what I am talking about)
Also posted at: http://www.soul-patrol.com/newsletter/2010/news5/victa_bootsy_keswick.html
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