Last month, the third annual Brooklyn Comes Alive took over three beloved venues in Williamsburg (Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and Schimanski), bringing with it a stacked lineup featuring once-in-a-lifetime collaborations, tribute sets, and all-star supergroups. Over one hundred artists were brought together to see their passion projects come to life, honor their musical heroes, and improvise with their friends and peers, with more than thirty-five sets taking place across the festival’s two full days of music.
One of the most talked about performances of the weekend was the tribute to the great Herbie Hancock, spearheaded by The Motet keyboardist Joey Porter. A frequently self-professed student of Hancock’s style, Porter managed to do uncanny justice to the vaunted keyboardist and bandleader, perfectly channeling the jazz-funk great’s playing and general musical aesthetic. Nate Werth was on fire, building off his Snarky Puppy band-mate Robert “Sput” Searight’s tight grooves to create sonic soundscapes that were rich and full. James Casey delivered solo after solo as Porter slapped at his keyboard with a giant smile on his face. The set also included a thrilling cameo from Maurice “Mobetta” Brown on trumpet–the first of several Mobetta guest spots on the day.
The setlist didn’t stray far from the 1973 Head Hunters album, bookending the performance with “Watermelon Man” and “Chameleon” to a packed club. The honor, pride, and glee shined bright from the musicians faces as they played tribute to one of the greatest musicians of all time with masterful versions of early-mid 1970s classics “Actual Proof,” “Palm Grease,” and “Hang Up Your Hangups.”
Watch highlight videos from the Herbie Hancock below, with soundboard audio mixed by Eric McRoberts:
Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive pushed the boundaries of a traditional music festival. By taking some of the most talented artists from our favorite bands and grouping them into dream collaborations–almost like a fantasy sports league–Brooklyn Comes Alive succeeded in creating a highly unique and memorable weekend of musical community and camaraderie that proved to be far greater than the sum of its (already fantastic) parts. Read our full recap here.
Setlist | A Tribute To Herbie Hancock | Brooklyn Comes Alive | 10/23/17
Watermelon Man *, Actual Proof, Palm Grease, Hang Up Your Hangups, Butterfly *, Chameleon *
*w/ Maurice Brown