Neal Francis and his band of soulful rockers made their way to Brooklyn, NY’s Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night to round out a late-2023 swing featuring support from The Psycodelics with a sold-out performance.

A new discovery for many in the crowd, Charleston, SC group The Psycodelics set a lively, familial tone for the evening with their gripping blend of funk, rock, and soul. Cameron Wescott led the charge for the talented upstarts, commanding the spotlight with Sly Stone-like stage presence on lead vocals and dextrous ferocity on bass guitar. The young band navigated the ebb and flow of its set with veteran know-how, keeping the audience engaged as slower songs (like a moving recreation of R&B classic “Feel Like Makin’ Love” using D’Angelo’s arrangement from Voodoo) mingled with high-powered blasts of howling funk.

With the crowd thoroughly warmed up, Chicagoan keyboardist/vocalist Neal Francis, dressed in a tuxedo and white leather boots for the occasion, and his band—comprised of Kellen Boersma (guitar), Mike Starr (bass), and Collin O’Brien (drums)—took the stage and echoed the sentiment. It’s the last show of the tour, he reminded the Brooklyn crowd, so “we’re getting loose tonight.”

Francis kept that promise throughout the evening. While this tour had showcased the core Francis quartet, 2023 has been the year of the expanded band for Neal and company, who recently released Francis Comes Alive, a live album featuring an 11-piece ensemble. The band rode that wave on Saturday, welcoming a revolving cast of Psycodelics to the stage to augment unbounded, psychedelic takes on his growing catalog of soul-rock earworms as Neal hopped back and forth between an array of keyboards. Fan favorites like “Can’t Stop The Rain”, “Problems”, “Alameda Apartments”, “Say Your Prayers”, and “Changes” took on added electricity with the expanding and contracting band while on-the-fly deviations from the setlist, as noted by Neal with his trademark mellow magnetism, lent the show an added layer of “let’s just see what happens” intrigue. That atmosphere of looseness amplified the night’s biggest moments, like the triumphant reprise of the show-opening “She’s A Winner” that brought the main set to a close.

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Putting an exclamation mark on both the Brooklyn show and the tour at large, Neal Francis and the gang welcomed all of The Psycodelics to the stage—a combo Neal dubbed “PsycoFrancis”—for a rousing two-song encore of In Plain Sight original “BNYLV” and an appropriately communal, Wescott-led take on “Thank You” by Sly & The Family Stone (in its slowed-down ‘Thank You For Talking to Me Africa” arrangement). Scroll down to check out a selection of photos and crowd-shot videos from Saturday’s Neal Francis performance at Brooklyn, NY’s Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Neal Francis will close out the year with a New Year’s Eve Francis Comes Alive big band blowout at Denver, CO’s Ogden Theatre featuring support from The Texas Gentlemen. Tickets for the December 31st show, presented by Live For Live Music, are on sale here.

For a full list of upcoming Neal Francis tour dates, head here. For a full list of The Psycodelics’ upcoming tour dates, head here.


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Neal Francis & The Psycodelics – “Thank You for Talking to Me Africa” (Sly & The Family Stone) – 12/9/23

[Video: Fuzzy Dunlop]