Dopapod, Kung Fu, & FiKus – Highline Ballroom – 2/21/13
The Highline Ballroom played host to a triple bill of intense electro-rock grooves and lethal funk last Thursday night. Opening band FiKus and co-headlining acts Kung Fu and Dopapod treated fans to a dance fueled scorcher, easily one of the highlights of the year thus far. Kunga-Pod-ikus, Dopa-Fu, or Fupa-Pod-Ikus… any name you choose, it still equals AWESOME.
When I think of the band FiKus, the first thing that comes to mind is presence. With an innate stage presence exuding from each of its five members, the group creates an infectious energy that passes right from the stage to the dance floor. Apparently there are plenty of FiKus faithful who are already aware of this, because when the band took the stage real early at 8pm the room was already significantly filled with fan’s ready to let loose. As expected, the band brought their signature style of “Electro-Funkadelic Hip Rock” full throttle. The set was a combination of tracks from their two 2011 EP’s Mover Shaker and Plus+, along with a couple of new tunes as well. “Big Booty Bounce” as well as “Nightwalker” were two such songs. Besides being particular standouts, they assured me that this band will only get better and better as they continue to rise up in the scene with a quickness.
JimJones > Cool Refrigerator > Something Stanky > Nightwalker > Michael Phelps > Big Booty Bounce
Connecticut funk powerhouse Kung Fu was the 2nd installment of the night. After seeing and hearing their performances (including a tribute set to Stevie Wonder) from Aura Music and Arts Festival earlier this month this writer was as amped as anyone in the room to wear off the soles from my shoes. If you don’t know by now, this band absolutely rages and tonight was no different. The nearly two hour set showcased the extreme talent of all five of its members. It seems that every time I see this band, a different member astounds me. Some nights it’s the tight sax playing of Robert Somerville, other nights it might be Todd Stoops on the keys, Chris DeAngelis with the Bass, or Adrian Tramontano at the drum kit. On this night it was most definitely the insane display of guitar prowess put on by Tim Palmieri. He was clearly in the driver’s seat throughout the set bringing fans to a whole different plane and back again on several occasions. Set standouts included “Stepping’ In It”, “Bopcorn”, and “Gung Ho”.
Kung Fu (Setlist):
The Hammer, Steppin’ In It, Chakrabarty Overdrive, Bopcorn, God Made Me Funky, Barometric Weather, Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On, Do The Right Thing, S’All Good, Gung Ho, Hollywood Kisses, Bringin’ Up The Rear
Leaving the crowd riled up and panting for more, Kung Fu made way for Brooklyn’s own Dopapod to follow suit. With their winter tour in full swing the foursome raged a two hour set of their own that kept the fire in the room blazing. One song after the next, Dopapod brought an intense level of energy to the crowd. Playing in support of their newest album Redivider, the guys kept the setlist well rounded, only having played three tracks from the new release. Rob Compa continues to astound with the guitar, while ‘Fro’ Evans (Drums), Eli Winderman (Keyboards), Chuck Jones (Bass), and lighting and sound engineer Luke Stratton are all in perfect sync, playing and feeding off each other. Between the unbelievable music and the hypnotic lighting I believe some fans might not have even remembered their own names when all was said and done.
Psycho Nature, Off The Cuff, Onionhead, Ellemenno *, Priorities @, Nuggy Jawson, Weird Charlie (Part 2) > Trapper Keeper, Bats In The Cave @, Braindead, We Are Not Alone > Weird Charlie (Part 1)
As was promised, the night came to a close with one hell of an encore. With all members of both Kung Fu and Dopapod joining the stage, a super group was formed for what was about to be a super jam! First was a twelve minute cover of Pink Floyd’s “Money”. This was the first time playing this song but you would never know it. Every member of the super group was on point and the crowd was going nutty for it. This segued into a lengthy jammed out “Got to Get Your Own” (Kung Fu song) to close out the night.
Money$ > Got To Get Your Own#@
-by Andre Reddy
For Fikus EPs and tour dates please visit www.fikusband.com
You can stream or download the Kung Fu set from Highline Ballroom below:
For Kung Fu album and Tour dates please visit www.kungfumusic.com
You can stream or download the Dopapod set from Highline Ballroom below:
For Dopapod album and tour dates please visit www.dopapod.com
(Photos courtesy of Courtney Stapleford)