For the past seven-plus years, Vulfpeck has been busy spreading its funk far and wide, its band membership spanning out from Ann Arbor to Los Angeles, Long Island, and points in between. And while their tour schedule is seemingly non-existent, the group will always make it to Brooklyn for at least a couple of nights a year. Such was the case this weekend, when Vulfpeck put on its biggest (and best) enclosed show to date at the cavernous Kings Theatre. Following an energetic Friday night, which featured the live debut of “Soft Parade” on the day of its official release, Vulfpeck brought Saturday to the next level.

With a packed house of 3,000 revelers on hand, the core combination of Theo Katzman, Jack Stratton, Woody Goss, and (of course) Joe Dart just about emptied its ever-deepening bag of tricks before jetting across the Atlantic for the next leg of its “Wisdom of the Crowds” tour.

There was the usual switching of instruments between Theo and Jack, among others. The guest appearance by Jack’s mom. The more-than-guest appearance by the outstanding vocalist Antwaun Stanley, who once again stole the show with Vulfpeck classics “1612,” “Funky Duck” and “Wait For the Moment.” The doubleheader by Joey Dosik, who opened for and sat in with Vulf, tickling the crowd with his signature tone as a singer and saxophonist all the while. The infectious energy of Cory Wong adding his guitar to the mix. The crowdsourced three-part harmonies orchestrated by Katzman on “Back Pocket” and “Christmas in L.A.”

Except, this time, Theo did so while wrangling a full-blown, sold-out theatre. And with his old drum teacher, Rich Rodriguez, on percussion. And with Louis Cato, perhaps best known for his work with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, taking his turn on drums during “Beastly.” And with legendary sax man Dave Koz upstaging everyone during “Smile Meditation” and “It Gets Funkier.”

Not to mention Jack’s keynote-style speech for Vulf Records, which led into the introduction of “Peck-a-pella.”
Indeed, the second night of Vulfpeck’s autumnal-equinox stint in Flatbush featured all the silliness their fans have come to know and love, but on a grander scale, with bigger names, a bigger stage and bigger solos from (and cheers for) Joe Dart on bass.

Which can only mean bigger things to come for Vulfpeck, thanks to sold-out dates in Copenhagen and Paris, Dublin and London, before returning to the US for Suwannee Hulaween ahead of the release of the band’s next album, Hill Climber, on Dec. 7.

Through all that growth, in both group profile and venue size, it’s comforting to see that Vulfpeck has maintained its foundation as a sarcastic collection of music nerds who are at once serious about their artistry and instrumentation while not taking themselves seriously at all.

And considering all the support and inspiration that Brooklyn has provided to Vulfpeck over the years, it was only fair that the group return the favor while taking the next step forward as an act of expanding repute.

“The Sweet Science” (with Michael Winograd) → “Fugue State” → “Cory Wong”

[Video: bebop Pete]

“Smile Meditation” (with Alice Stratton and Dave Koz)

[Video: bebop Pete]

“Aunt Leslie” (with Antwaun Stanley)

[Video: bebop Pete]

“Wait for the Moment” (with Antwaun Stanley)

[Video: bebop Pete]

Setlist: Vulfpeck | Kings Theatre | Brooklyn, NY | 9/22/18

The Sweet Science, Fugue State, Cory Wong, Animal Spirits, Daddy, He Got a Tesla, Smile Meditation (w/ Dave Koz), Baby I Don’t Know (w/ Joey Dosik), Game Winner (w/ Joey Dosik), 1 for 1 DiMaggio, 1612, Aunt Leslie, Funky Duck, Wait For The Moment, Back Pocket (Peck-a-pella), Beastly (w/ Louis Cato), Christmas in LA, Dean Town

E: Birds of a Feather, We Rock Together, Outro, It Gets Funkier