With the impending onslaught that Hurricane Sandy was ready to bring (and which we have since witnessed), there was one thing above all else to do before she hit our shores – and that was to PARTY! At the Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club, Equifunk Underground brought a show that rivaled any other show in the city on Halloween weekend. With the Lawn Boys performing their own take on a Phish Costume set, the Equifunk All-Stars performing a set of some serious funk, and Chachi spinning a late-night dance-a-thon, the stars were aligned and allowed for one last dance before the storm hit.
Performing a greatest hits mix of Phish’s famed Halloween Costume sets, the Lawn Boys opened up the evening and got the party started right. Opening with “Buried Alive”, you could hear a few yelps of approval from the crowd and the party was underway. A nice segue of “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road>Drowned>Crosseyed and Painless>Rock and Roll” kept everyone going on this beautiful NYC night. The bust-out of this set came at the end when special guests Peter Apfelbaum (Trey Anastasio Band) and Steve Bernstein (Levon Helm Band/Sex Mob) came out for a super funked out version of “2001”. The Lawn Boys faces must have hurt the next day from smiling so much, as you could tell that they were beyond stoked to be sharing the stage with such veterans of the music scene.
The evening headlining entertainment was about as good as it gets. Dubbed the Equifunk All-Stars, this collective was led by guitar maestro Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds), and featured Adam Scone (Mofro/Sugarman Three) on Hammond B3, Jermal Watson (Dirty Dozen Brass Band) holding down the skins, Peter Apfelbaum on tenor sax, and Scott Bernstein on trumpet. With a set that consisted of funk hits from over the years, the band found their groove early and never let up. Tearing through a set that saw covers of Amp Fiddler’s “Afro Strut”, The Meters’ “Message from the Meters”, Little Feat’s “Texas Twister”, and “Now is the Time” by Jimmy James & The Vagabonds, the crowd was in for yet another guest sit-in when the ever-sultry Ms. Alecia Chakour graced the stage with her soulful voice. She came out for “Good Thing” and wound up sticking around for the remainder of the set; the band’s rendition of “Funky Nassau” by The Beginning of the End was a particular highlight with Chakour on vocals. A nice nod to Scone’s work with Sugarman Three was much appreciated when the band played “Chicken Half”.
It’s really incredible to think that this band is made up of individuals from different bands, play together occasionally, and can just get up on stage and play with the prowess of a band that plays 100+ shows a year. Jermal Watson was impressive to watch as he kept the beat so deftly. And you could tell that Roberts loved playing with Watson and was feeding off his energy. Scone knew exactly where to take the lead and provide fill-ins, as he and Roberts have been playing together for years. The additions of Berstein and Apfelbaum brought this band together nicely; and Chakour coming in halfway through the set was the icing on the cake.
Chachi provided the late-night festivities with an up-tempo set of popular remixes that ended the evening on a high note. As it was my first time seeing him, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he spun a really good set and knows how to work a crowd. Having just come back from Amsterdam for this special Halloween show, you could tell that he was having a blast as he had a few costumed vixens join him on stage to dance and provide some visual entertainment.
Just about everybody in the crowd was in costume for the show, and it was cool to see that all those in attendance were in true Halloween spirit and having a great time. The all-inclusive aspect of the show was another fantastic idea, and you could tell that many were taking full advantage of the open bar. But things never got out of hand, you never had to wait too long for a drink, and there was nothing but smiles on everyone’s faces. Keep this one on your calendar’s for next year, because this is where it’s at.
Equifunk All-Stars Setlist:
The Long Drive Home
Afro Strut (Amp Fiddler)
Message from the Meters (The Meters)
All the Time
Texas Twister (Little Feat)
Break the Fast
Now is the Time (Jimmy James & The Vagabonds)
Good Thing feat Alecia Chakour
Funky Nassau feat Alecia Chakour (Beginning of the End)
All We Can Do feat Alecia Chakour
Chicken Half (Sugarman Three – Adam Scone)
You feat Alecia Chakour
Lawn Boys Setlist:
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road>
Crosseyed and Painless>
Rock and Roll
2001 (w/ Peter Apfelbaum and Steve Bernstein)
Check out photos by Adam Mautner below: