While the Allman Brothers Band have been keeping a March musical tradition going since 1989 with their Beacon Theatre runs, Soulive has given life to a musical tradition all their own in Brooklyn. In 2010 Soulive played a 10-night, guest-laden residency at the Brooklyn Bowl titled “Bowlive.” Now in its fourth year, Soulive continues to top themselves with each successive Bowlive. From last night’s Bowlive IV opening show, the trio has laid the groundwork for raising the bar once again.
[All Photos by Andrew Blackstein]
Fusion-jammers Kung Fu kicked off the evening with a short but sweet set filled with potent improvisation. The Connecticut-based band is now in the midst of their fourth year together and continue to expertly mesh the sounds of the groups that spawned Kung Fu: The Breakfast, RAQ and Deep Banana Blackout. Guitarist Tim Palmieri and keyboardist Todd Stoops each have a unique style that’s so different from anybody else in the scene as it mixes speed and accuracy with an ear towards melody. I wasn’t the only one who wished there set went on longer.
When Soulive took the stage for their first set of Bowlive IV they were unaccompanied. Guitarist Eric Krasno, keyboardist Neal Evans and drummer Alan Evans showed off ther jazz-funk-groove hybrid sound on a run of four originals that kicked off the run with a bang. From the minute they started from 2007′s No Place Like Soul, it was clear Soulive would need no warm up. They hit it hard from the get go. Hat Trick, off 2009′s Up Here, shined the light on Kraz’s tasteful, soul-laden shredding. He’s got a sound and approach similar to John Scofield with a dirtier edge to it. Next, Soulive dipped towards the early days of the band by performing Shaheed from 2001′s Doin’ Something and Tuesday’s Night’s Squad.