The Scene – Dinner and a Show on My Birthday

Nicole and I at Luxe

Friday September 25th Nicole and I grabbed a bunch of my friends and headed out to Luxe Burger Bar in downtown Providence. Author’s note: make reservations, or your bar bill will exceed your dinner bill, we had a party of 8 and waited about 2 hours to be seated, but it was our own damn fault for not thinking to reserve a table ahead of time.   The food and company were great and after a lovely dinner Nicole and I made our way over to Jerky’s for the Fungus Amungus show.

After such a long dinner we ended up arriving during the closing number of the opening act, I believe was The Wolves, though I still have been unable to locate a band website. Nicole and I made our way to the bar as Fungus got set up and enjoyed a beer each before the music began again. We stuck around for the first hour or so of their set before retiring, just enough time to catch a few great Fungus originals, as well as a couple staple covers of their sets:

Opening with “Matilda” Chelsy Lau howled at the microphone while Johnny Lingo tickled the ebony and ivories, Jarrod Valenti and Patches bellowed harmonizing sax tones, Mike Sperduti bound up and down the bass neck, Zach Fenner wailed on the six string and Joe Jannerelli wielded the sticks at the kit. Johnny played some funky reggae sounding organ during the first two verses that really stood out before Zach set the frets on fire with an extended solo segment. The reggae toned “Injustice” followed, with Johnny taking over lead vocals and Chelsy singing back-up. Patches stood out in this one with an awesome jazzy sax solo. For the first cover of the evening Jarrod and Patches came in together fiercely to open The Bomb Squad’s “Sophistifunk.” Chelsy killed the lead vocals on this one singing soulfully and powerfully, Jarrod took the sax solo on this number and laid out a great groove.

Fungus broke out Maceo Parker’s funk opus “Shake Everything You Got” for a great extended groove. Always one of my favorites from Fungus’s set it, allowing each member on stage to strut their talents, this time they invited some extra brass and were joined by an additional trumpet player, Eric Bloom. Mike kept the bass groove jamming the entire time, Johnny went ballistic on the keys for a good measure before Jarrod “gave it to the drummer,” Joe who proceeded to beat the shit out of his kit with a fantastic solo. Eric was the next to take a solo, and ripped it up, sticking with the windy instruments, Patches billowed a solo from his tenor sax. Overall one of the best versions of “Shake Everything You’ve Got” I’ve seen them play. Weary and on a full belly I decided to stick around for one more tune and caught Fungus’s version of “Roller Skates” by Steel Pulse. Another funky number with some reggae sounds, a slower tune than the rest, Johnny again took to the keys for a spirited solo and Chelsy shone on vocals, her soulful inflections made it Fungus’s version. It ended up being a great birthday celebration with a delicious dinner and fantastic show, glad we got to make it out a bit for the first half of Fungus’s set. Due to close the year in style Fungus Amungus is set to ring in the new year at The Blackstone with Sauce and The Kris Hansen Kollective opening the night. Certainly a New Year’s Celebration to witness!

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