Ahh, what could have been, but apparently Mother Nature isn’t a fan of funky stuff…
On this frigid night in the Big Apple the NOLA phenom Trombone Shorty was billed to play NYC’s Terminal 5 with a special opening slot from Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Funkateer first class Bootsy Collins. However Bootzilla’s flight from Cincinnati was canceled at the last minute causing a palpable void. Many fans voiced their anger at the door as only simple signage alerted them to the change when they entered and nothing was posted on the website.
The show must go on though and The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker opened to a sparse crowd in the venue. The group is a tight knit soul/funk outfit that expertly slides around old school R&B with funky struts and understated playing. Hailing from Nashville, TN the dapperly clad 6 piece got the joint grooving before Harlem’s own Charles Walker took over the vocal lead. Walker appeased the crowd with sing-alongs, larynx shredding yearning pleas and smile inducing gyrations. Tracks like “So Much More To Do” and “Love Is Only Everything” were extended showcasing the front-man as well as the tight Dynamites.
The group played an extra long set with Collin’s absence and the fans warmed greatly to their style of playing before Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue took over. Blasting out of the gate in metallic fashion the 6 piece exploded with brass and guitars slamming high while the low end crushed along underneath.
In the live setting the band mixes up energetic instrumental blasts, technical prowess and get down jams which unfortunately lose some steam in delivery. Trombone “Troy Andrews” Shorty likes to touch on all areas of music but with Orleans Avenue backing him, power is always his best weapon.
When the energy remains high like on the instrumental take of Green Day’s “Brain Stew” the group is in its element; Pete Murano crunches riffs while the brass trio of Tim McFatter, Dan Oestreicher and Andrews accentuate the breaks leaving whirling drummer Joey Peebles and grooving bassist Michael Ballard to slam along. The band just locks in on the high octane outings during live shows, slowed down jams like “Mrs. Orleans”, “The Craziest Things” and “New Morning” only serve to act as breathers between the amazing instrumental highs the group offers.
On the technical prowess front there are few equal to Andrews, one moment saw Murano start a simple blues riff that Shorty joined in on leading to an engaging duet that snaked its way around, building constantly as the full band joined. During the band’s entrance Andrews put on a circular breathing clinic, playing a note on his ‘bone for longer then what would seem humanly possible.