There are too many things going on this weekend to list. Being the one year anniversary of Prince’s untimely death, Minneapolis is going hard all weekend with block parties, dance parties, and just parties in general to celebrate the life and legacy of such an amazing musician. Even with so much going on, the crowd that showed up to support local and regional funk music last night was enormous and it was truly a beautiful thing to see.
The show started with local funk group Duffel. Their set started with two original songs that had the type of sound that made you want to just get up and groove. It was jazzy and creative with a splash of funk and fusion thrown in the mix. After their two original songs, Duffel brought out local songstress K. Raydio. She brought a whole new element to Duffel’s already eclectic set and it was definitely a great collaboration.
K. Raydio’s voice is beautifully smooth. The first song she joined the four piece band for had an almost rock and roll feel while still keeping the jazzy undertones that Duffel had established with the two original songs. As the set went on, K. Raydio conveyed far too many styles of music to list. Some of the songs came off as straight up R&B, some had a little hip-hop feel to them and all of them had enough creativity to keep the entire crowd engaged. K. Raydio finished up the set with Duffel and by the time it was done, I was completely in love with her and this band.
Euforquestra’s six members were fun to watch and I’m pretty sure every single one of the members was smiling throughout their nearly hour long set. Their music, much like Duffel, was extremely creative and upbeat. Again, it was that type of music where you just had to dance along. I mean, everyone else was doing it, and being the only one standing still just sounded so boring. Euforquestra brought a bit more of a reggae/ Caribbean feel with their music while still keeping with the fusion theme that would reign supreme throughout the night. The positive energy of the band members mixed with the upbeat music created a great atmosphere and a great way to kick off the weekend.
There’s an obvious reason why people chose to come check out this show instead of everything else going on in the Twin Cities last night. Pho’s music was clean and precise. Every note seemed to have a purpose while still feeling light and fun. It didn’t feel improvised but it also didn’t feel stiff. Everything about their set was just light-hearted fun and the crowd’s attitude seemed to match that feeling. As people moved from the bar to the main floor, they could be spotted literally dancing down the three stairs that they had to walk down. I’ve been to numerous shows at The Triple Rock and I can honestly say that last night was the first time I had ever seen people literally dancing down the stairs.
With horns blaring and the keyboards ringing, Pho pushed through their set with a sense of fury that you would expect to see with any rock band. Even during slower songs and quiet parts of their set, there was an undeniable sense of energy coming off of the stage. Like the members of Euforquestra, all seven members of Pho looked like they were truly enjoying performing for the full house and truly appreciated the fact that people actually came out to support them.
Although this show wasn’t one of the Prince events going on, Prince’s spirit was alive and well. Much like every other bar and venue in the Twin Cities, Prince’s music was blaring through the speakers between bands. Conversations floating around the crowd were mostly about where people were when they heard the news of his death or talking about their Prince moment because, here in the Twin Cities, everyone has a Prince moment. He was a normal guy that could be seen around town at various shows including local ones. Had it not been for his untimely death, I definitely think last night could have been one of those local shows where he just randomly showed up. No, I’m not being over dramatic or trying to talk Pho up more than I should. Last year Prince had tweeted about discovering Pho on Youtube. Yes, Prince tweeted about Pho. If that isn’t an indication that you should be checking out this band then I don’t know what is.
I could have gone to one of the many Prince celebrations going on Friday night but instead, I found myself at a local funk show. It definitely wasn’t my usual show but it definitely was the best way I could have spent my Friday night.
Could little old metal-head me have been turned into a fan of funk music after last night? I think so.