Guests arrived early into the night to pack the house and hear Snarky Puppy at Chicago’s Concord Music Hall last night. The sold-out show featured Charlie Hunter as the opener with support from the Snarky Puppy’s horn-line and drums. Snarky Puppy’s bassist and leader, Michael League, explained that it’s tradition for Snarky Puppy members to play with their new label artists, and urged the crowd to listen to Charlie Hunter’s upcoming album, Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth. Hunter’s comedic facial expressions paired well with his blues and soul tunes, for which he played both the bass and guitar at the same time!
The audience, anxious with anticipation, cheered promptly at nine o’clock to egg the jazzy improv group on stage. The show featured two sets, a first-time experience for Chicagoan musical goers. The first two songs of the night were heaters, powered by strong basslines from League. Several songs from the album We Like it Here were crowd favorites throughout the night, such as “Lingus,” “Shofukan,” and “What About Me?.” The first set also featured keyboardist, Shaun Martin, for a quick rap verse.
After a jazzy jam heavy first set, the second set slowed in pace and smoothed out to exotic sounds, such as in the song “Tio Macaco.” The band also treated the excited listeners to a few songs, including “Tarova,” from their new album, Culcha Vulcha. Read the review here. Solos occupied much of the time during this set.
At one point there were three trumpets on stage, leading the horn section in a movement. A long, well-executed, enticing percussion and drum duet by Nate Werth and Jason ‘JT’ Thomas was sandwiched in the middle. After a loud stomping and clapping ovation, the band finished up the set with the slow and powerful main segment of the song “Sleeper.” Although the pacing did not compare to the rest of the show, the finish satisfied happy ears. After an two song encore of “Beep Box” and “Shofukan,” the band called it a night.
Check out the setlist and a full gallery of images below, courtesy of Tara Gracer.
Setlist: Snarky Puppy at Concord Music Hall, Chicago, IL – 5/14/16
Set One: Tarova, Go, Binky, Thing Of Gold, What About Me?
Set Two: Grown Folks, Semente, Young Stuff, Tic Macaco, Sleeper
Encore: Beep Box, Shofukan