By Dylan McCullough
March 23, 2015
VANCOUVER — Everyone feels the funk. Toddlers and the elderly can boogie to it. The crowd Saturday night at the Commodore Ballroom thoroughly demonstrated that they too certainly boogie to da funk. The Funk Hunters set the groove initially before Mr. Chali 2na strutted his way in front of the psychedelic sign exclaiming “FUNK” and let loose that trademark baritone flow. Obviously in no time, the headliners had the sold-out crowd heading all the way back to the days of yes y’all-in.
Electronic shows are all too often saturated with pre-recorded mixes or some glowstick light show. While the custom lights and visuals the Funk Hunters brought were deadly, the fusion of live instrumentation with their original funky baselines was no doubt the highlight. Mat the Alien began the night laptop free, brilliantly mixing his deep collection of 45s. Spinning real records showcased Mat’s talent as a turntablist, cutting and scratching his way through an hour of old school funk cuts mixed with classic hip hop. It was the funkiest set I’ve ever seen from the Whistler legend and the novelty of watching an Alien dig threw his crates was a real treat.
Collaboration was the spirit of the night, really providing an unforgettable live experience. It’s very hard for anyone to argue with a blazing keytar solo. The show had an entire six-piece band join the Funk Hunters, while mixing in three different Chali 2na appearances. Each set had the famous Jurassic 5 member playing unique remixes of classics like “Step Yo Game Up” and “Guns Up.”
Shambhala vibes were in the air and a tribe of funk-hunters packed the dance floor. I would imagine there was definitely a few sore calves felt the next morning. But if a hip-hop legend is speaking, it’s best ya listen. So when Chali 2na and the full funk attack behind him asks, “if we give ya the funk, you gonna take it?” — you take it.BC, British Columbia, Commodore Ballroom, The Funk Hunters