Turkuaz Brings The Heat On A Chilly Night In Buffalo

first_imgOn the coldest autumn night of the year in Western NY, Turkuaz put on a heater of a show at the Buffalo Iron Works on Tuesday night. While some Buffalo Sabres fans trickled in from the home game next door at the KeyBank Center, most of the capacity crowd was there for the Powerfunk 9-piece that continues to build a following throughout the Empire State.The self-proclaimed “Gulf Coast Soul” 8-piece, The Suffers, opened for Turkuaz and delighted incoming listeners to a short and sweet set. Turkuaz hit the stage at 10:01 and after a thunderous welcome from the crowd, they launched into “Percy Thrills, The Moondog” off 2015’s Digitonium. “Nightswimming” kept the Digitonium theme going with its Herbie Hancock-esque synth groove produced by Craig Brodhead. “If I Ever Fall Asleep” broke the Digitonium thread, but allowed the Western NY crowd to appreciate a newly written tune. Sammi Garett and Shira Elias showed off their talent by way of choreographed dance moves and strong vocals as Brodhead destroyed a face-melting guitar solo.Twenty minutes into the show and the group was completely locked in. Their very first song from their very first album, “The Mountain,” provided room for the band to cool down as they literally froze in unison mid-way though the tune. Taylor Shell was quick to get the place rocking again with an icebreaking bass solo that shook the rafters before diving into “Future 86” from the 2014 album with the same name. Dave Brandwein got funky on lead guitar and vocals while Brodhead channeled Bernie Worrell on synth during “Make You Famous” which led to another recent debut, “One and Lonely”. Taking a sonic trip to France, “Chatte Lunatique” brought out some more of the 9-piece synchronized dance moves. “Chatte” sounds like the direct descendent of Morris Day and the Time’s “The Bird” from the mid-80s funk rock era which used a strong bassline with catchy, yet simple, lyrics and dance moves. It is no secret that Prince’s longtime friend and collaborator, Morris Day, has superhuman powers when it comes to composing funk rhythms, and the modern day Turkuaz is quickly learning the ways of the funk Jedi that have come before them.Garett’s standout vocals in “Rule the World” are complimented nicely with a beast of a saxophone solo from Greg Sanderson. “On the Run” is yet another newly written tune that has gained popularity just as quickly as tracks on their LP releases. Produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads lore, this danceable and provocative track is sure to light up disco balls throughout the US whenever performed live. “On the Run” was segued into an oldie but goodie, “20 Dollar Bill,” which gave Chris Brouwers time to seduce the audience by way of trumpet. While this track has evolved since being introduced in 2011, the big brass section has always been a staple. “Snap Your Fingers” is the Turkuaz your mom talks about at wine parties: a familiar call-and-response that gets people on their feet without the Rated “R” drum and bassline that creeps its way into so many of their nastier grooves.“Holy Ghost” left jaws on the floor as the capacity crowd realized that the brass section can sing too. Joshua Schwartz soulfully moves back and forth from saxophone to vocals during this James Brown-inspired piece. Brandwein let the fellas know he was ready to get up and do his thing and tore into a raunchy guitar solo that would please any disciple of the Godfather of Soul. “European Festivity Nightmare” is one of the darker tracks off Digitonium and proves that their evolving sound has depth beyond the dance. “Digital Love” is the silky baby-making track off the 2015 release. Garett and Elias kicked off the sexy lyrics accompanied by perfectly timed dance moves which lead Brandwein to use his vocals more like an instrumental wingman. “The Generator” served as the final slice of the late set Digitonium trifecta to the overwhelming satisfaction of the audience.The Turkuaz momentum was at an all-time high during the first cover of the evening, “Don’t Do It” by The Band. It doesn’t get more classic rock than this iconic cover and the 9-piece did it more than justice. Brandwein’s vocals echoed Levon Helm’s giving way to Brodhead’s bluesy guitar solo which mirrored Robbie Robertson’s ferociousness. “Coast to Coast” closed out the epic set and gave Sanderson’s sax one more chance to glisten. An extra-long encore was in order as nobody was ready to go out into the cold. The one-two punch of “Monkey Fingers” and “Bubba Slide” left the ravenous crowd thirsty for more, but the venue’s curfew suggested a different outcome.On this brisk Tuesday night, Buffalonians caught the Powerfunk fever that developed a short seven-hour drive away on the other side of New York State. Brooklyn’s Turkuaz is reimagining and reconstructing grooves from the past 40 years and having fun doing it. The renaissance of modern funk is upon us and it is spreading like wildfire throughout the country, one weekday dance party at a time.Don’t miss Turkuaz on Saturday night at Brooklyn Steel! Tickets available here.SETLIST: Turkuaz | Buffalo Iron Works | 11/7/17Percy Thrills, The Moondog, Nightswimming, If I Ever Fall Asleep, The Mountain, Future 86, Make You Famous, One and Lonely, Chatte Lunatique> Rule the World, One the Run> 20 Dollar Bill, Snap Your Fingers, Holy Ghost, EFN, Digital Love, The Generator, Don’t Do It*, Coast to CoastE: Monkey Fingers, Bubba Slide*The Band cover[Cover photo courtesy of Bill McAlaine, from 9/30/17 in Denver]last_img read more