Words and Photos by Nicholas Stock (@fatguerilla)
Funk, that dirty stuff your mother warned you about, was on full display at the Aggie Theater with headliner Turkuaz and support Con Brio. Both bands are currently on an upward trajectory and gaining new fans at a record pace. Turkuaz formed in 2012 and they have been wowing audiences across the country with their fiery rock-based, soul-infused funk music ever since. Con Brio is even newer to the scene and the James Brown-esque output of lead singer Ziek McCarter is truly awe inspiring. Con Brio took the stage promptly at 9:30 PM.
Hailing from San Francisco, the name Con Brio means “With Vigor” which is a bit of an understatement. This band is explosive. They are a true collaborative collective of Bay Area Funkateers playing behind the undeniably talented and utterly fresh McCarter. They opened with “Saddle.”
Set 1: Saddle, Temptation’s Talking, Kiss The Sun, All Over Me, Love, Never Be The Same, Money, Liftoff, Open Close, Give It All
This 7-piece band had friends travel in from across the Front Range to the Aggie for the festivities. The snappy “Temptation’s Talking” was reminiscent of the Jackson 5, but the subject matter was a bit more evolved. The band built tension and release with the soulful “Kiss the Sun” before the buttery love song “All Over Me.” They continued to impress throughout their hour on the stage. The punchy, brass-tastic “Money” was a huge highlight as was the aptly named “Liftoff.” They originally planned to shut it down with “Open Close” but the enthusiastic audience coaxed them into wrapping up their amazing set with “Give It All.”
Con Brio was a tough act to follow, but if any band is up to the task it’s Turkuaz. Hailing from Brooklyn, Turkuaz is the ROY G. BIV of funky goodness. Their colorful nature seeps into not only the visual, but into their eclectic and utterly inviting sound. With nine members it would be easy for their sound to get convoluted. The fact is this is one of the tightest and unambiguously enticing bands touring today. They opened with “Chatte Lunnatique.”
Set 1: Chatte Lunnatique> Percy Thrills the Moondog, Future 86, Nightswimming, Murder Face, Tiptoe Through the Crypto> M’ Lady, Doktor Jazz, Everyone’s A Winner, If I Ever Fall Asleep, Gogo Mr. Dodo, The Generator, Back To Normal, Pickin’ Up (Where You Left Off) > Monkey Fingers, Bubba Slide, Take Me To the River
Encore: Shape I’m In
Turkauz’s two hours on stage was a mesmerizing display of lights, funk, and action. Singers and front women Sammi Garret and Shira Elias commanded attention with their powerful harmonies and unequivocal dance moves. They focused on their original catalog until the end of the set. From the opening notes it was an utter dance party. David Brandwein on guitar and vocals played the part of bandleader in top notch fashion. From the plinko-bass on “Nightswimming” to the Sammi-lead “Tiptoe Through the Crypto” at no point did Turkuaz disappoint. Taylor Shell’s bass was front and center during “Doctor Jazz” and the ultra positive, riff-heavy cover of Hot Chocolates’ “Everyone’s A Winner” was a fan favorite. “The Generator” was another soulfully funky tune featuring some solid harmonies between Shira, Sammi, and Dave. “Monkey Fingers” was another obvious highlight before the set closing cover of the Talking Heads’ “Take Me To The River.” They returned to the stage for a tight encore of The Band’s “Shape I’m In.”
Overall both bands brought the heat. Con Brio with their expressive and incredibly talented front man and Turquaz with their tight transition and powerful harmonies. Their sets at The Aggie were well planed and executed unbelievably well. Be on the look out for both Con Brio and Turkauz, if they happen to be coming to your town don’t hesitate to go check out either band. They are both on the rise.