Funk guitarist Cory Wong wrapped up his current North American tour with a sold-out show at the Fine Line Café Saturday night. Cory, who calls Minneapolis home, also shares his time with Vulfpeck and is out supporting his solo release The Optimist.
Opening for Wong on Saturday night was Emily C Browning. The New Zealand native started the show with just a mic and guitar and opened with a soulful cover of the Soundgarden hit “Black Hole Sun”. Emily’s choral prowess continued for a couple of original songs before being joined by Cory Wong’s band. The band brought a jazzy edge to the remaining songs, but is was Browning’s vocals, sounding both classic and fresh that enchanted the packed room.
Cory came out with his band, all dressed in black Wong Pizza track suits, and held a preset huddle in the middle of the stage before launching into an aggressive funk fest that went on for 90 strait minutes. Groove heavy and solid, the band played off each other in an amusing and lively way that infected the sold-out crowd. There was no drama as the audience just cheerfully danced to the beat.
Wong himself was a blur of energy as he gleefully bounced around the stage, bending the strings of his blue Fender that created funk filled sonic journeys. While there was a mic stand that Cory frequented, most of the mic time was spent engaging the crowd with fanciful tales of cosmic pizzerias and epi pens. Was that Princes horn section backing him up? The “Horn Heads” definitely added to the soul factor of the evening.
Was it pop? Was it funk? Was it soul? It was all of the above and tons of fun when Cory and his band funked up the Fine Line on Saturday night.