Local funk outfit rocks marathon release party
KC ROBERTS & THE LIVE REVOLUTION at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club, Friday, April 25. Rating: NNN
It’s cliché to call a concert a “marathon,” but in the case of KC Roberts & the Live Revolution’s record release show Friday night at the Mod Club, it’s also accurate. The seven-piece, joined throughout the night by a rotating cast of talented backup singers, musicians and rappers, kept on rocking until 2:15 am, putting their show over the four-hour mark – pretty much how long it takes most trained athletes to run 42 kilometres.
The lengthy, two-set fête didn’t deter their fans from letting loose – dancers at the front of the full room boogied at full tilt throughout the night to tunes from KCLR’s double album, Parkdale Funk 2: Sides, as well as older favourites.
The first set contained a few too many slow and mid-tempo songs, but whatever the band lacked in BPM, they made up for in musicianship: Humanity, for example, provided an opportunity to see frontman Roberts work his magic on electric guitar, as well as a crowd-silencing trombone solo from Christian Overton.
Later, a three-piece string section added symphonic flair, unfortunately, you could hear music from the club downstairs throbbing during what should have been some of the most poignant moments.
Steve Dyte’s mellifluous trumpet solo led into Toronto-tribute City By The Lake, and not even technical guitar difficulties during the following tune could stop Roberts from finishing off the first set with another epic solo.
The second half proved more upbeat. “I would really, really like to see every fucking person getting down to this song,” beseeched Roberts before Drift Away. And Toronto rap duo Airplane Boys worked the crowd to their most hyped during Get Back To The Middle (there was crowd-surfing, as well as a couple of “Fuck Brooklyn” exclamations, in honour of the Raptors who were playing that night). The band’s electro-dance-inspired number Daisy D also translated very well live.
I counted 21 people onstage for their triumphant closing number (before the core group were cheered back for an encore) – a dramatic, indulgent end to a celebratory night.