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Turkuaz Funkafies Providence With “The Ball Drop” New Year’s Run

This weekend, Brooklyn funk powerhouse Turkuaz performed a two-night New Year’s run at Fete Music Hall in Providence, Rhode Island. Dubbed “The Ball Drop,” the run featured support from Moon Hooch on night one and Kung Fu and West End Blend on New Year’s Eve.

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For night one on Friday, Moon Hooch opened with guns-a-blazing. Full-on, in-your-face horns got the evening off to a proper start. Who knew horns could morph into an EDM vibe? These guys were nonstop energy, and promptly warmed up fans before the headliners took to the stage.

Turkuaz walked on stage with their well known color-coordinated outfits, including their staple Members Only jackets, to the delight of fans. The band opened up the two-night run with “Murder Face” before a jazzy, funked-up “Bijou Drains (The Birddog)” slinked into “Gremlins.” The night was off to a hell of a start. turkuaz-nye17

“EFN” was a steamy jam knee deep in bass tones, and the crowd reciprocated with cheers when they busted out the tune. Craig Brodhead took off on a crushing electrical escapade with his guitar, bringing the melody on a spacey journey with Michelangelo Carubba‘s in-the-pocket drumming steering the ship.

The ’70’s showed up as they cracked open a serving of rollerskating love with a sexy cover of Chic’s “Le Freak.” Another cover, The Box Tops’ “The Letter,” had everyone in the place belting out the lyrics. Sax player Josh Schwartz put down his instrument to take over the vocals for a soothing “Pickin’ Up Where You Left Off,” throwing the venue into a cyclone of massive joy. “M’Lady” closed out the first night on a high note. This fast-paced jam rolled along and kept the fans dancing their asses off.

Night one was stuffed with mind-blowing horns, sweat-inducing, non-stop, danceable beats, and vibes that kept the energy high as a kite throughout the evening. Fans experienced face-melting moments around the venue as the air was filled with electricity. Nine-piece Turkuaz has a tendency to blow the roof off with their soulful, mesmerizing melodies that reach into the core of fans, grab hold and not let go until the last beat of the night hits. Night one was just the beginning. Turkuaz was guaranteed to have surprises galore in store for New Year’s Eve.

Setlist: Turkuaz, December 30, 2016, Fete Music Hall, Providence, Rhode Island

Murder Face, Bijou Drains (The Birddog)>Gremlins, Snap Your Fingers, Slippery People, Digital Love, EFN (European Festivity Nightmare), Future 86, Electric Habitat, *Le Freak, Coast to Coast, Club Foot, The Generator, Everyone’s a Winner, %The Letter, Pickin’ Up (Where You Left Off), Ballad of Castor Troy, Lookin’ Tough Feelin’ Good, Babies Making Babies, M’Lady

*Chic cover, %The Box Tops cover

Night two of “The Ball Drop” saw Hartford, CT’s West End Blend kick off the New Year’s Eve extravaganza. The stage was crammed with 10 musicians, four of them horns. The big band did not disappoint, as they blasted the crowd with some heavy funk that heated up the joint, priming the venue for two more sets of intense music.

The crowd outside the venue streamed in as Kung Fu took the stage. They took their set on a hypnotizing jaunt through funkafied notes and beats that had the audience jumping. This band, sandwiched between the other two acts, set Fete on fire, injecting attendees with infectious dancing grooves.

Turkuaz took to the stage in their normal colors, but this time they were snazzed up with the men wearing suit jackets in lieu of their Members Only gear while Sammi Garett and Shira Elias showed off their own elegant, jaw dropping wardrobe. They wasted no time in getting things started when they took off with “Chatte Lunatique.” At midnight, streamers and confetti rained down on the crowd as champagne was brought on stage for the musicians. The traditional “Auld Lang Syne” was sung by the entire venue before they welcomed the new year with Steely Dan’s catchy “Reelin’ In The Years.”turkuaz-nye5

Heavily-played favorites “Tiptoe Through the Crypto” and “Digitonium” crept into the set before “Holy Ghost” cooled things off for a moment. Fans were on fire, dressed in outfits that ranged from straight up glitter to shiny disco ball suits. Happiness abounded on this first night of the new year. “Don’t Do It” flowed into “Nightswimming,” ensuring fans were getting the best of the best for the celebratory evening.

Deep tones from the baritone sax opened up “Gogo Mr. Dodo.” Drifty guitar tones flowed throughout, and touches of psychedelia peaked in, but the melody stayed grounded firmly in hard funk. The stage got crammed once again as the West End Blend horns and Kung Fu came out to join in on Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al,” before heading into the final song of the night, Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.”

Turkuaz always brings high energy, infectious vibes, and multi-faceted levels of funk to the stage. They continue to grow more fans with each show. If they have eluded you so far, make sure to put them on your 2017 list of must-see live performances. For more information on Turkuaz, please visit their official website.

Setlist: Turkuaz, December 31, 2016. Fete Music Hall, Providence, Rhode Island

Chatte Lunatique, Percy Thrills (The Moondog), Old Lang Syne, Reelin’ in The Years#, Tiptoe Through the Crypto, 20 Dollar Bill, Digitonium, Holy Ghost, Doktor Jazz, The Mountain, Don’t Do It, Nightswimming, X.Y.Z. (Feelin’ Tough), Gogo Mr. Dodo, Bubba Slide, King Computer, Back To Normal, *You Can Call Me Al, %Sledgehammer

#Steely Dan cover, *Paul Simon cover, %Peter Gabriel cover

Words and Photos by Sarah Bourque