Sometimes the best shows are the ones that catch you completely off guard. And that is exactly what Kung Fu did when they played at the 8x10 in Baltimore on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
With three members of funky prog-rock jamband The Breakast (guitarist Tim Palmieri, bassist Chris DeAngelis and drummer Adrian Tramontano), RAQ keyboard wiz Todd Stoops and Deep Banana Blackout sax player Rob Somerville, the band was overflowing with the talent of seasoned musicians. But having only watched about two minutes of a YouTube video – enough to reel me in – I wasn’t sure what a full show would bring.
What I got was a sneak attack of (mostly) instrumental funk from a band that sounded like it had been polishing its sound for years, but Kung Fu has only been together for about 18 months. With Stoops’ fast and funky keyboard theatrics, Palmieri’s guitar virtuosity, Somerville’s jazz-infused sax playing and the super-tight chemistry of Tramontano and DeAngelis, there was not a single dull or less-than-great moment throughout the show.
The band fused its funky foundation with elements of electronic dance music, effectively bridging the gap between decades of music into its fresh sound. The covers the band played were as equally eclectic and daring as their sound – Funkadelic’s “Standing on the Verge of Getting it On” and Steely Dan’s “Green Earrings.”
To put it simply, go see Kung Fu whenever you get the chance.