John Brown’s Body

How’d The Show Go?
By: sandieganliz

On March 30, 2011, John Brown’s Body played at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach alongside Galactic, a New Orleans funk band. John Brown’s Body is a soul/rock/reggae band from New York. They displayed their versatility through songs of rebel music while others were more progressive or even trance-like.

It was Wednesday and John Brown’s Body started a show that was sold-out by the time I got to the box office at 9 p.m. The first thing I noticed about the band, besides the evident high-energy, was the vocals. The lead vocalist, Elliot Martin, is definitely musical with his singing. I also noticed the twangy bass lines, which brought flair to their reggae sound. The use of three horns (trombone, trumpet, and sax) added a nice touch too. The music became a bit chaotic at some point, but this may have been due to the mix of genres. I heard all kinds of mixes, including 80s rock, gospel, and dub. Still, it was enjoyable because the music was expressive and telling. As mentioned, there was plenty of rebel music in the reggae/rock, but the band also took you on a mind-trip with more melodic and trance-like tunes.

During the middle of the set, John Brown’s Body dedicated a song to C-Money, a former member who was present that night. The band ended their set strong with a reggae song that carried a gospel tone. Galactic performed right after and took the crowd away with their funky instrumentals, including the use of jazz horns. I assume their light show is what they’re known for because it was spectacular (hence, the name). The most interesting piece I found out about Galactic that night was the Neville family member they had in the band and, one week prior to their performance, I checked out Ivan Neville’s band Dumpstaphunk. Thus, I recently got to hear two great funky bands, which shared the Neville family name and came to visit from New Orleans, Louisiana. Gumbo ya-ya!

bringing you that fire! stay tune for more posts.

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