Brooklyn Bowl Brings Bowlive Back to Brooklyn
What makes this night different from all other nights? Before Bowlive, this question was reserved for Passover seder; however, when faced with ten nights of stacked lineups during the annual celebration of Soulive funk, I find myself asking this with the fervor of a Babylonian rabbi. When faced with this many choices, what’s the best way to choose? Some might say blindly; some might go with the advice of a friend; some might buy the ten-night pass and not choose at all; I, personally, choose to follow The London Souls.
Bowlive is the annual collaboration of two of New York’s best representatives: Brooklyn Bowl, which has become the nucleus of the NYC live music scene, and Soulive, a three-piece powerhouse described as a fusion of soul-jazz and modern hip hop. The composition of the band isn’t just any three pieces, either: Soulive is made up of the Evans brothers, Alan and Neal, whose credentials include stints with the Greyboy Allstars and Moon Boot Lover, and Eric Krasno, whom you’ll recognize from the Boston-based funk explosion Lettuce. Each year, Bowlive comes up right as the February-March blues are beginning to take their toll, and the shows go as hard as any two-week stretch at the Bowl can. Night after night, no matter the weather, the shows usually sell out, the crowds are wild, and the special guests are out of control.
In such a situation, where one is faced with ten seemingly-perfect options, it is hard to be choosey. Bowlive season usually finds me sitting at my desk, my computer covered in Post-Its that say “IT’S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT.” Being picky is, in this instance, a necessity; this is why I have to thank the gods of scheduling for having two of my favorite Bowlive guests, The London Souls and Marco Benevento, on the same night. The London Souls first blew me away during their October 2011 Brooklyn Bowl residency, and I haven’t looked back. The Souls play fierce, high-energy rock and roll that is reminiscent of The Beatles, while also calling upon Cream and My Morning Jacket for a psychedelic, multi-layered sound. Marco Benevento is a musician who needs little introduction; Benevento is an arbiter of New York City funk, a crucial part of the live music scene who kills it on keys and carries with him a passion and energy that can transform a show. Benevento and The London Souls, alongside David Hidalgo of Los Lobos and Bowlive-frequenters The Shady Horns, make the 13th an unmissable night of this years Bowlive funkadelic celebration.