The Sugar Club is packed to capacity as Cory Henry and his band take to the stage. The Snarky Puppy keyboardist needs no introduction and his fans have come out in droves to see what his solo side project has to offer.
From the moment the first song begins it’s clear that this will be a night to remember. Cory is a masterful bandleader, taking time to step out of the limelight. While the band members rip it up with extended solos, Cory struts around the stage egging each of them on. Shouting, instructing “Hit me on the one.” Bham! “Hit me on the two.”…Bham! “Hit me on the three”……Bham! “Take it back home.”
When it’s his time to shine, he goes into a trance like state. He stares straight ahead, not even glancing at the keys as he plays incredibly complicated improvisational pieces. “Was that alright?” Cory asks, “YEAAAAH!” we reply.
Funk is music that is innately fun. The audience and the performers share the thrill of taking risks, laughing when it doesn’t work and cheering when it does. If there was a single word to describe this show, that’d be it. FUN! My highlight of the night was the dark, brooding, bass heavy cover of Prince’s “1999”, with it’s slow build eventually erupting into a massive crescendo. Incredible stuff. Soulful backing singers, walking baselines, syncopated guitar and insane drum groove. These guys had it all.
The shouts of “ONE MORE TUNE” threatened to bring the house down and they graced our ears with one more dose of musical medicine. Afterwards Cory stood by the exit meeting fans and thanking anyone who said hello. This is a man who truly appreciates his fans. I’d highly reccomend checking him out next itme he hits our shores.
A special mention to the band and their great hats!