Live at the Pour House
Sept. 17, 2014 | Charleston, SC
Earphunk recently received over 580,000 downloads of their latest album, Sweet Nasty. Not only has the group opened themselves to fans across the globe by teaming up with Bit Torrent bundle, but they also sealed a deal that is likely to take them all the way to the top of the live music community. They recently signed on with Paradigm Agency which has proven to be one of the top booking agents in the country with offices in Beverly Hills, Monterey, Nashville, and New York City.
This recent review was done by a hometown friend, Jordan Kirkland of Live & Listen. Live & Listen is kicking off by throwing charitable events in the Montgomery, AL area the first of which is a Funksgiving event with the McLovin’s & Earphunk. Check back for more collaborative efforts between LiveMusicDaily and Live & Listen in the near future.
By Jordan Kirkland of Live & Listen
Last week the Southeast was treated to a collaboration of two of the most genuine, exciting groups on the circuit, The Kyle Hollingsworth Band and Earphunk. As a lifelong fan of The String Cheese Incident, this was particularly exciting as it is always a special occasion to see Kyle perform, in any capacity. Pairing Kyle and his band, featuring members of The Motet, with Earphunk, one of the hottest young group’s in the country, gave me no option but to make the mid-week drive to Charleston, SC to see the first of this 3-night Southern run.
In support of Earphunk’s recent album release, “Sweet Nasty”, KHB was scheduled as the opening act. Kyle wasted no time delving into the material from his new release, “Speed of Life”. The set began with the fast-paced, jazzy instrumental, “Racer X”. It’s tough to imagine a better tune to set the tone for this night. “Racer X” embodies every aspect Kyle is known for: heavy doses of quick-paced funk, ridiculously smooth transitions, and verbal acapella with every note played. Next came “Here We Go”, which got the room dancing and singing along to the more poppy, beachy/island tune. He then transitioned right into another new track, “Fallin’ Through The Cracks”, which slowed the pace, but made room for an array of solos from each member, and another soulful sing along to warm up the crowd.
You can always count on a few of your favorite Kyle-led String Cheese tunes, and this night was no exception. The room lit up as the opening note of “Let’s Go Outside” hit. It’s tough to find a song in his catalog with a heavier start. The words “Let’s go outside our minds and play” make entirely too much sense in the midst of a Kyle Hollingsworth performance. The set took on a strong dance-theme with “The Way It Goes” and “You’ve Got The World”, which feature just the right amount of drum machine, and lyrics about not taking life too seriously. A lengthy tease of Michael Jackson’s “PYT” was squeezed in and well received, as expected.
The final two songs of the set were highly anticipated, personal highlights. “Can’t Wait Another Day” is one of the more uplifiting, feel good tunes you could ask for. Kyle has noted that this song was written as he anxiously awaited the birth of his daughter, while preparing to hit the road for a tour. The set had to come to a conclusion, and the choice to do so with “Rosie”, a String Cheese fan favorite, had the crowd jumping, singing, and dancing with every beat. It’s safe to say that this may have been the best “opening act” I will ever be fortunate enough to see.
Knowing the act they were following, Earphunk took the stage and picked up right where KHB left off. “Sunup to Sundown”, the first track off of “Sweet Nasty”, started the set off with a peaceful, jazzy intro and quickly transitioned into the explosive guitar riffs we have all come to expect from Mark Hempe and Paul Provosty. The segue into the new title track, “Sweet Nasty”, could not have any smoother. Keyboardist Christian Galle and Provosty took over this song in powerful form, generating extreme excitement when it was time for everyone to shout “Sweet Nasty!”.
A number of Earphunk originals followed, including the classic “Stuck In A Funk”. This one in particular has always reminded me of Galactic/Medeski Martin and Wood, and has a true ballad feel to it as drummer Michael Matthews and bassist Michael Comeaux speed up the pace mid-song and get the entire crowd moving. Comeaux provides a steady supply of funk-slap bass and Matthews keeps a tight rhythm, allowing for Provosty take his solo to the next level.
Knowing the level of energy in the room, a cover of Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls On Parade” was a perfect choice. Hempe nailed the unique vocals of Zack de la Rocha, while the group delivered on every note. Another new original, “Phine”, brought out the always fun talkbox effect, as the band showcased the new dance tune. “Phine” is about as much fun as any song in the Earphunk catalog, bringing a Frank Zappa meets Daft Punk sound to the table. The set concluded with the classic, “9 to 5”, a previous album title track and Earphunk staple.
Those who were fortunate enough to make it to this special night at The Pour House will certainly never forget the experience. The brief tour continued to Terminal West in Atlanta, GA the next night, and concluded at The Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA. Each show provided for a packed house, and an incredible opportunity for Earphunk to showcase their new album. Here’s to the future of both exciting groups, and many more collaborations down the road.