Friday, August 12
Better than: Mourning James Brown’s death while listening to old funk 45s.
Last Friday, the eight members of the talented young funk band Evolvo Doofeht piled onto a Fung Wah bus to make their New York debut at Lit Lounge. The Berklee students took the stage in Lit’s dank basement and prepared to court a crowd unfamiliar with them. Like any blind date, there was a moment of awkward tension as the two parties greeted each other; the band took the stage quietly and the concertgoers sat skeptically, sipping their drinks. But by the time Matt Gibbs hit the night’s first chorus—”If you wanna get down with Evolfo Doofeht, then you gotta get down with Evolfo Doofeht”—the dance floor had filled with new, rump-shaking fans.
The band then medleyed their original tune “Wild Man” with James Brown’s “Sex Machine” as Gibbs led the band with some dance moves that he definitely stole from the Godfather of Soul, complete with his commanding the audience to “get on up-uh.” (They needed no encouragement.)
Gibbs introduced the next track as “an oldie from the ’30s that your grandparents probably know”—and it wound up being a slowed-down, super sexy cover of Daft Punk’s “Something About Us” that nearly caused the audience to lose it. Rafferty Swink got to stretch out on the keys, throwing down a synth solo that could have drifted out of a cantina on Tatooine. Once he was satisfied that faces had been melted, Swink handed over the lead to trumpeter Kai Sorensen, who brought the tune back to Earth.
After a brief gypsy-funk intermission, Gibbs ceded vocal duties to fill-in baritone sax player Bennet Schatz. Keeping in mind that it is absolutely impossible to compete with Marvin Gaye’s iconic take on the track, Schatz did a damn good job with his rendition of “Let’s Get It On,” keeping the basement hot and sweaty. The band closed out their set with the incredibly danceable “Deep Flop,” which had a catchy hook and quick turnarounds that threw the spotlight onto the horn section. It also gave Gibbs one more opportunity to play a gangster of love, as he sang, “Baby, I’m your deep flop/ And baby, I need money!” Even though its lead singer was engaging in some pleading of his own, Evolfo Doofeht left the crowd begging for more—like any good lover should.
Critical bias: I love a good funk band.
Overheard: “I could dance to these guys for three hours, easy.” (They’d played for 50 minutes.)
Random Notebook Dump: Evolfo Doofeht is “The Food of Love” spelled backwards.
Wild Man/Sex Machine
Something About Us
Walk With A Demon
Let’s Get It On