I have seen some great funk and jazz bands at Sullivan Hall in NYC. Erik Krasno has played there with every side project imaginable. The Benevento-Russo Duo has also performed at the space in its multitude of incarnations. The venue is a great jumping off point for different bands and projects and I’m always introduced to new groups. Some of these include Hey Lady, Lespecial, New York Funk Exchange and, recently, The Macpodz. The Macpodz, who hail from Ann Arbor Michigan, are well on their way to success. They already have a long list of major festivals under their belt and have shared the stage with members of moe. and toured with Umphrey’s McGee.
The opening band, NY Funk Exchange, was the winner of a contest that got them a spot at Camp Bisco last year. They brought in a sizable crowd for an opening act and got the crowd moving. Then The Macpodz took the stage around 11:45 and brought with them a stage presence that was eclectic, eccentric and high energy. The crowd was a mix of NYU frat boys and their crunchy counterparts, as well as seasoned live music veterans, who know this is the best place around to catch a live show.
Music on the funky or jazzy side of the fence often finds a home in the jamband scene and outdoor festivals. It took me half an hour of really enjoying this band before I realized there was no guitar player. I was thinking how great the instruments were, one by one. I then wondered why the guitar player didn’t impress me. It kind of came as a shock to realize there was none. The Macpodz consists of bass, trumpet, percussion/flute, keys, and drums. Brennan Andes on bass and vocals led the show with his extreme charisma and positive energy. He took a few solos, making his bass sound like a guitar with the help of a Boss Octave OC2 Pedal. Brian Ciufo, the Saxaphonist for the band Buzz Universe, came and joined the group for a few songs, really filling out the sound. The Macpodz played into the night without taking a set break. The entire audience was kept dancing and the venue was packed until the lights came on.