Vulfpeck Dances With Jack Stratton’s Mother In Wild L.A. Performance

first_imgLoad remaining images You don’t have to listen to Vulfpeck’s records or even hear their sound live to understand that there’s something special about this band—though either would be more than worthwhile. The audience, in its reaction to the music and interactions with the artists on stage, will tell you all you need to know about where this funky outfit from the University of Michigan is headed.The Teragram Ballroom in downtown Los Angeles was packed to the gills on a Thursday night, long before Vulfpeck took the stage at the 600-seat venue. They were treated to a splendid opener from LA native Joey Dosik to get things started.Dosik pulled a second tour of duty as a spot vocalist/keyboardist/sax man during Vulfpeck’s mind-bending, hip-swinging set.The group took great but worthwhile pains to put on an interactive show for a crowd that lead singer/drummer/guitarist Theo Katzman suspected was crawling with “industry” people. Time again, Katzman tested the audience’s musical acumen with a slew of call-and-response exercises.He scatted, and the crowd scatted back. When he needed a “G” for “Back Pocket,” folks in attendance gave it to him in perfect pitch. Then, when he wanted more backup for the chorus, he split the audience into thirds, assigned each a harmony part and transformed the paying public into participants in a makeshift chorale—and a beautiful one at that.Katzman and company took a similar tack to “Christmas in LA”, which they introduced with the sad news that this would be the band’s last show in town for a while. But rather than be glum about it, Vulfpeck once again whipped their fans into a three-part harmonic frenzy, enough to transport the Teragram Ballroom to some far-off tent revival.The band pulled plenty of other tricks, too. There was a spoken-word crowd chorale for “I Know Where to Go,” a dance lesson from Alice Stratton, the mother of Vulfpeck singer/keyboardist/drummer extraordinaire Jack Stratton; and cameos for the soulful vocals of Antwaun Stanley on “Funky Duck” and covers of Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” and the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”As it happens, the crowd didn’t need any added encouragement to chime in at any moment. They repeated every word of every vocal track and reliably reproduced almost every note of the band’s instrumentals. Even Joe Dart’s face-melting bass jams, Woody Goss’ key tickling and Cory Wong’s guest work on guitar got their proper respect from the congregation.And for good reason. Vulfpeck proved to be nothing if not a collection of superbly talented—and, at least for Stratton and Katzman, versatile—musicians. Together, they put on a performance that deserved every ounce of pseudo-religious fervor that rose from the floor in front of them. What a show!Check out a full gallery of images, courtesy of Brandon Weil, below.last_img

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