Night two of Bowlive IV was all kinds of epic, from Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds ringing in the funk to Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes popping in for one of the most stellar surprise collaborations Brooklyn Bowl has ever seen, if last night was any indication of how the remainder of these ten days will play out, this is sure to be the best Bowlive yet.

Back at their home base of Brooklyn, Arleigh (Sister Sparrow), her brother Jackson, and the rest of the Dirty Birds should hardly be minimized by their status as openers; they were every bit as engaging, soulful and intense as anyone else on that stage. Arleigh radiated sexiness, as always, and absolutely brought the house down with the power of her voice. She sings with so much soul and vigor that at one point I literally had chills. The band’s sound is a smooth, melodic and intriguing blend of funk, soul, rock, and blues that is totally unique to them and just makes you feel good all over. Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds are definitely going places, touring all over the country and securing spots on several festival lineups, all the while maintaining a humble, small town vibe that makes them that much more appealing.

Enter Soulive, a band who clearly feels right at home being back on stage at the Bowl. Eric Krasno and brothers Neal and Alan Evans put an upbeat, sexy spin on jazz that fans of any genre can easily enjoy. The trio jammed out hard, feeding the crowd that delicious funky soul food that they know so well. You can see in their faces what a great time they’re all having, and their positive vibes are reflected in the energy of the crowd. Tunes ranged from funky slow jams to more upbeat songs that got everyone moving from the first chords and successfully pumped everyone up for guest appearances Robert Randolph and Lee Fields.

An epic funk reunion ensued as Randolph took the stage on steel guitar with his notorious do-rag, raising the energy in the place from a 10 to a 12. Randolph’s voice is intense and combined with the already powerful sounds of Soulive made for a flawless collaboration. When it seemed like it couldn’t possibly get better, Fields took the stage, adding another layer of soulful flavor—not to mention his attire: an entirely silver suit. His voice is nothing short of gorgeous and the five of them together made for a high-energy, feel-good performance that didn’t have anyone standing still.

As if that weren’t enough, set three rolls around and who enters the stage? None other than the legendary Derek Trucks, followed by Warren Haynes coming straight from an Allman Brothers show at the Beacon Theater. The collaboration was nothing short of magical with epic performances including “The Sky Is Crying” and “Thrill Is Gone.” All jammed out hard and seemed like a natural fit with one another. Haynes and Trucks added a nice blues-y element to round out the already jamtastic bunch and smoothly but powerfully close out the night with everyone going strong till the end.

– Sara Furer-

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