Brooklyn Bowl has something in the air that makes you keep coming back for more (maybe the smell of fried chicken?).  Add Soulive to the mix and the experience becomes practically addicting.  After my first Bowlive experience this past Friday night, I made the spontaneous decision to return for the guest appearances of Alecia Chakour and Nigel Hall on Saturday with a surprise appearance by Nikki Glaspie from Dumpstaphunk, for another incredible performance full of epic collaborations.

The star of the show, in my eyes, was undoubtedly Brooklyn-based Alecia Chakour.  While, admittedly, I was somewhat unfamiliar with her before, I was immediately captivated by her booming voice and generally cool demeanor; she struck me as something like a goth Sister Sparrow (Arleigh Kincheloe).  The evening opened on a powerful note with Alecia and her band joined by Neal Evans on keyboard.  She absolutely dominated the stage with a deep, soulful, bluesy vibe that shook the room.  It was obvious that she felt at home on this stage where she has made many appearances.

Luckily for us, this was not all we got to see of the budding star; she later took the stage with Nigel Hall for a fire duet accompanied by Soulive. As if Alecia isn’t incredible enough on her own, Nigel and Alecia seemed as though they were put on this earth to sing together—music soul-mates.  They fed off each others energy to create an intensity the caliber of which could hardly be described, only felt.  At one point, Nigel literally got down on his knees to serenade her, then continued bouncing around in his usual hyper fashion.  With Soulive killing it in the background, the soul filling the room was palpable and heavy.

When I didn’t think things could get better, Nikki from Dumpstaphunk appeared, taking the stage on the drums.  Having gone to Tulane, New Orleans has a very special place in my heart, so I was pretty psyched about this (and even more so when Nigel came back out on stage wearing a Saints hat!).  This time, Nigel took the keyboard, and all rocked out hard for a powerful and flawless performance.  Suddenly things slowed down a bit and Nigel seemingly turned into James Brown with some funky slow jams.  A highlight of the night was definitely Nigel with Soulive performing “Rule” by Nas, which was simply beautiful.

Finally DJ Logic took the stage, turning the place into a disco-y dance party with jams ranging all the way from Michael Jackson to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. It was a fun and upbeat end to a stellar evening.

-by Sara Furer