Soulive brought its residency at Brooklyn, NY’s Brooklyn Bowl to a close this weekend. Bowlive’s final few nights featured some of the run’s biggest guests, including members of the Allman Brothers Band, The Roots and the Fela! cast. Roots drummer ?uestlove DJed during the group’s set break Thursday night, while onetime Roots MC Rahzel beat boxed. Soon after, the members of Soulive returned to the stage with the hip hop musicians for a Nas cover. As Soulive’s second set started, ?uestlove moved over to drums and Soulive drummer Alan Evans picked up his guitar. The Soulive Horns, Kofi Burbridge and Nigel Hall also sat in with the band at various points throughout its set.
Friday’s set opened with a performance by Soulive saxophonist James Casey’s band Six Figures. Near the end of Six Figures’ set, Hall emerged for “Jesus Children Of America” and “Can’t Hide Love.” The classic Soulive trio then took the stage for “Uncle Jr.” and “One In Seven,” before Burbridge and keyboardist Marco Benevento joined the group. Benevento nodded to his Led Zeppelin tribute band Bustle in Your Hedgerow by covering “Out On The Tiles” and “The Ocean.” After Soulive’s first set, rising retro-rock band The London Souls took the stage for a surprise “tweener” performance.
Yet, things truly picked up during the band’s second set. As Alan Evans explains:
For our final set we came out with some of the Beatles tunes we recorded on our new album but Marco hit the stage with us as well. We went right into Eleanor Rigby and Marco jumped right on his space ship and blasted off with some ridiculous delayed Rhodes sounds. I knew right then that these tunes we’ve been playing for a little while now were going into uncharted territory. I was not wrong!!! Marco, like Neal, is a beast on the keys and it was so much fun watching those two cats getting down in keyboard land on the other side of the stage. After that, we dropped right into I Want You which was a bit heavier than usual. Everyone who knows that tune well knows the pretty epic psychedelic ending and Marco made sure he topped that and I must say, I didn’t want that tune to end!! But it was all good because Kofi came out for which turned out to be a beautiful version of Something. Kofi and Kraz playing the melody together and then everyone putting some serious soul into their solos (when don’t they!!). We brought it back up by bringing the Shady Horns featuring Cochemea Gastelum, a few of his boys from the Fela show on horns and percussion, with Tash Neal on guitar and vocals for Get Back. The solo bowl got passed around and everybody was hittin it hard. We then went into Little Richard’s Lucille again with Tash crushing vocals and guitars and a now monsterous horn section behind me. We then played a tune Roll Out off of Kraz’s new album and I’m pretty sure that was the first time it has ever been played live. Nigel came out on stage and laid down a Moog solo George Duke definitely would’ve been groovin to.
We thought about taking a break but Oteil ran over from the ABB show, slid out on stage and made sure we kept things moving. We started off with Oteil’s tune Butter Biscuit. Now I knew things were gonna get nasty when Oteil showed up with his four string p bass and again…. I wasn’t wrong, man he was layin down some serious soul funk!!! I don’t even need to tell you his solo was epic but I’ll say it anyway… It was epic. So what could we do after that? That was certainly worthy of being a show stopper but Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi came out on stage and we slid into a Soul Serenade. Susan and Derek did just that, serenaded everyone’s soul in that room. Susan then strapped on her guitar and we did Tired Of My Tears, I just love her voice… makes me want to smile and cry all at the same time. Nigel came back and did a duet with Susan on Signed, Sealed, Delivered which was just dripping with high energy SOUL!!!! Kraz then led us into We’re A Winner and of course… Move On Up. At some point during the tune, Oteil was feeling it so hard he put down his bass and went out to groove in the crowd. Hahaha, I love that cat!!! We split the stage for a sec but came right back out with our JB medley. At this point the horn section was about 6 or 7 cats deep and it was like a freight train right on top of me!!!
The final night of Bowlive took place Saturday night. Kofi Burbridge sat in one final time, along with previous show announced guest DJ Logic. After his set with the Allman Brothers Band ended, Warren Haynes stopped by as well to play with the band. The members of Soulive have hinted that the Bowlive series will return to Brooklyn Bowl in the