When I was young and spritely, just out of college and living in San Francisco, I used to see live music on a weekly basis. I could even pull it off on a week night and make it to the office on time the next day. I so often wonder how I did that? I was reminded, last night, how a band could have such crazy energy and produce such an electric vibe that it is totally possible to lose track of time while also tapping into a hidden source of energy that I was not aware I had. The night started with Soulive, a jazz-funk trio that we've seen several times over the years and who never disappoint. Soulive has this eery way of taking their listeners in one direction, steadily building up, creeping almost, shifting up to the next octave, and then, taking a 90 degree turn into something totally different that, oddly, fits together perfectly with the groove they originally started with. It's mind-blowing, really.
You can imagine our surprise, then when Lettuce comes on stage, a funk group that we've never heard of made up of members of Soulive and an additional horn section; a "sideman supergoup" as described by iTunes. These guys quickly and effortlessly took the evening to a whole new level. They picked right up where Soulive left off, giving us a similar sound but something fresh that could only be produced with all the pieces of this new group. The horns, alone, were worth the extra effort to stay out a bit longer. There was almost a hectic vibe in the room at this point as the excitement level was growing totally insane. It was truly an incredible thing to be a part of. And, to my surprise, I made it until the lights came on.
Listen to this:
Up Right - Soulive
Speak E.Z. - Lettuce