Dumpstaphunk at BK Bowl 3/23

It was a phunky night this past Saturday, as Dumpstaphunk threw down hard at Brooklyn Bowl to an eager and pumped up crowd. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Ivan Neville and the rest of his talented crew many times, from Jazz Fest to Equifunk and at smaller venues from NOLA to New York. Though their live performances never fail to kill it, I personally prefer the more intimate venues to the festies and this Saturday at Brooklyn Bowl was no exception.


From the first chords, Dumpstaphunk radiates energy and gets the crowd going instantly. Each member (Ivan Neville on keyboard(s), Nick Daniels on double bass, Tony Hall on bass guitar, Nikki Glaspie on drums, and Ian Neville on guitar) plays with so much passion and enthusiasm, it is impossible not to sense how into it they are and what a good time they are having. This is perhaps my favorite thing about NOLA bands: the music is more than just a part of their life—it is their life. This is music that evolved out of decades of hardships and exclusivity, music that has since taken on a life and a culture of its own. Having attended college in New Orleans, I feel blessed that this music and culture has become such a part of my life. It’s a special thing fueled by more soul than any other genre, and this feeling was palpable inside the bowl with this icon of NOLA funk.


The show was incredibly high energy, as always. “Put It In The Dumpsta” tends to be a favorite of fans and newbs alike, as I experienced at Equifunk, and this night was no exception. Prior to the show there was some doubt as to whether Tony Hall would be present, but indeed he was, making his signature funky faces throughout. Ivan wowed the crowd by killing it on not one, but THREE keyboards at once—absolutely effortlessly, like a boss. The indisputable highlight of the night, however, was a sick hip-hop medley towards the end. This epic conclusion to the evening began with a ten-minute drum solo by Nikki, leading into covers of Ludacris’s “Moneymaker,” Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement,” J Dilla’s “On and On,” and a ridiculously upbeat version of Q-Tip’s “Vivrant Thing,” all with Nikki on lead vocals. Boy, can that girl rap!

A fun end to the evening was running into Ivan casually hanging out by the bar and having him invite us backstage to chill. The intimate and laid back nature of Brooklyn Bowl is what makes it so special.


Whether in NOLA, New York or on the festival circuit, Dumpstaphunk never fails to put on an incredible and high energy performance. If you ever have the chance to catch these guys, don’t miss out! It’s a great show not just for lovers of the funk, but really anyone who’s down to get down and have a good time. Check out a video from Nikki’s hip hop medley below (though it hardly does it justice!).

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