Tag Archive for videos

VIDEOS: Robert Walter’s 20th Congress at the 2013 Bear Creek Music & Art Festival

Robert Walter's 20th Congress

Robert Walter brought the revamped lineup of his 20th Congress band to Bear Creek last year. Watching the dynamic collaboration unfold between Walter and New Orleans-bred drum phenom Simon Lott is nothing short of joyful; as you can see in the clips below they are loving playing together. Add to that the veteran Daptones saxophonist Cochemea Gastelum and scene newcomer Josh Perdue on guitar on bass and the funk flow gets mighty tight!

For their Friday late night set at the inside Technaflora Music Hall stage, Walter and crew got super loose with an encore of 1970’s electric-era Miles Davis covers that topped off the long day of music with a cherry on top. Below that are a few other videos from the last night set with Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds joining on guitar. Below that is a few songs from the 20th Congress’ mid-day set the next afternoon. Enjoy!

Robert Walter’s 20th Congress – Friday, November 15, 2013
Live Oak, FL @ Bear Creek Music Festival – Technaflora Music Hall

What I Say > Honky Tonk [Miles Davis covers]

Robert Walter’s 20th Congress – Friday, November 15, 2013
Live Oak, FL @ Bear Creek Music Festival – Technaflora Music Hall

Kool Is Back [Funk Inc cover] (with Chris Stillwell & Mike Dillon)
Corry’s Snail & Slug Death (with Eddie Roberts)
Funky Soul [David Batiste & The Gladiators cover] (with Eddie Roberts)
I Can’t Help It [Smokey Johnson cover]:

Robert Walter’s 20th Congress – Saturday, November 16, 2013
Live Oak, FL @ Bear Creek Music Festival – Purple Hat Stage

Corry’s Snail & Slug Death, Get Thy Bearings [Donovan cover], Dog Party, Maple Plank [Stanton Moore cover]

P.S. Check out these videos of Simon Lott with Marco Benevento & Reed Matthis back in 2009 here.

Bilal 8/12/11 Indianapolis @ Madame Walker Theatre (VIDEOS)

This post is a guest review by Leo Weekly’s Damien McPherson.

The Madame Walker Theater is showing its age. The room dates back to the 1920s, but since its renovation in the late 70s, it appears little has been done to modernize the space (though their website does mention fundraising attempts). It’s still a beautiful building, wedged into its intersection on the edge of downtown Indianapolis, and the missing “K” on the rooftop’s sign at least gives a bit of personality even in the face of sadness at urban decay from historical sites.

Maybe I was looking a bit too closely, but by the time Bilal hit the stage, he looked pissed off. The sound in the room wasn’t great, and the 935-seater was barely half-filled (we sat in the sparsely populated balcony so as to give you the astounding visuals accompanying these words). One of the keyboardist’s platforms wasn’t plugged into the mix, leaving out many of the songs’ electronic bleeps and bloops and leaving room for a roadie to hover at the side of stage laying cable, distracting to say the least. The guitar amp failed during an early solo, and it appeared the drummer was having a monitor issue. It wasn’t until almost halfway through the show, during “Sometimes”, that what approximated a smile crossed Bilal’s mouth and he looked comfortable. None of this took away from his vocal performance, mind you, as the man is a machine. His perfectly controlled vocal abandon is one of modern music’s marvels: soulful, jazzy, and church-infected. The guy could sing Nickelback songs and sound like a genius (don’t prove that, though, please).

Something To Hold On To, Make Me Over, Gotsta Be Cool, Lord Don’t Let It, For You, Reminisce (flipped with the J Dilla “The $” beat), Fast Lane, Sometimes:

The first half of his set was split between his debut, First Born Second, and his shelved-but-leaked followup “Love For Sale”. He seems perfectly at ease on stage with the audience’s familiarity with the material they shouldn’t know, and proves himself a bigger man than me. I’d play half of one of those songs, and the second I spot someone singing along, I’d probably stop the song and ask for ten bucks from the person. Glad he didn’t, though, ‘cause I didn’t have any cash on me, much as he deserved it. “Fast Lane”, the non-representative first single from his debut, finally got the arrangement it deserved outside of its Dr. Dre studio sheen.

“Sometimes” is always a wonder, the little song that could. It was never a single, but the crowd demands it and sings along as if it were a standard. The second half of the set is mostly from his latest, Airtight’s Revenge, and the crowd wasn’t as responsive (though this was definitely a ‘giving’ crowd, very loose and supportive) to this material. “Little Ones”, dedicated to his autistic son, was a definite highlight, the emotional connection to the song a tangible thing. He closed the main set with the incredible “All Matter”. While I’m partial to the arrangement on Robert Glasper’s Double Booked, here he worked magic on his Airtight version. This song easily takes permanent residence in my favorite songs of the last decade. Just listen/watch.

Levels > All Matter:

Beggars not being choosy, the crowd’s response at this point didn’t really require an encore. They seemed to give up their cheering rather quickly. Thankfully, Bilal’s show is built for an encore, as he hadn’t performed his biggest song yet or this tour’s epic closer. “Soul Sista” melted every woman in the room, as it’s done for a decade now, while the Led Zeppelin cover “Since I’ve Been Loving You” melted the walls. A great quickie road trip, another excellent Bilal show (my second of this album cycle), and here’s a near perfect visual representation to enjoy. -Damien McPherson

Since I’ve Been Loving You (Led Zeppelin cover):