Fans packed into a sold-out House of Blues Dallas on Saturday night for an evening of neo-funk-slash-jazz-on acid. From the very first opening note – a bellowing burp straight into the mic – Thundercat delivered.
Sporting a sparkling slate blue top with an equally flashy Gucci hair clip that pinned back his bleached dreads, the Grammy award winning bassist/singer, Stephen Lee Bruner (better known by his stage name, “Thundercat”) put on a dazzling performance that felt, at times, more like a beautifully intricate concerto or jazz showcase rather than a concert. Along with his bandmates, drummer Justin Brown and keyboardist Dennis Haam (who impressively and effortlessly kept up with Bruner’s shredding), he spent the first half of the set playfully improvising and riffing through his 2020 release, It Is What It Is – it was a display of pure artistry, rather than just a setlist of hits.
Throughout the show, fans listened earnestly, mesmerized by Thundercat’s incomprehensibly swift navigating of his 6-string bass which was punctuated with stories and anecdotes of friends, collaborators, and inspirations – namely, Louis Cole, Flying Lotus, and others.
Top singles from the album were saved for later in the night after fans had the opportunity to really revel in the artistry and intricacy of the trio’s craft. Fan-favorites “Dragonball Durag” and “Funny Thing” proved to be even more interesting and artful when performed live.
The It Is What It Is tour is wonderfully unique, as one would expect, and certainly one worth catching. Check out photos from the must-see show below:
Photos by Natalie Perez