Last Thursday was funk night at the Westcott Theater in Syracuse when Turkuaz brought the signature powerfunk sound that Syracuse can’t get enough of. Turkuaz packed the house and are cementing their stronghold as the best funk band going today. Many years from now, I’m certain they will hold the legendary status that Parliament Funkadelic holds today. Mark my words!
The opening act of the night was The New Daze. They are an improv driven reggae funk band from Syracuse. They are super fun and put on a hell of a show. They have just the right amount of funk, the right amount of groove, and the right amount of weird. I like the New Daze a lot. Be sure to catch them when you can and pick up a copy of their album, Give Them Laughter. The value of what they offer far exceeds the tiny price tag. It will be one of your better spent $10.
Turkuaz’s set was smoking right from the start when they opened with the upbeat, jammed out booty shaker “Lika.” That song jumpstarts the show into high gear right from the get go and they kept the pace up with “20 Dollar Bill” that contained a great horn exchange and a “Bubba Slide” that had a crazy jam in the middle. I do declare that Craig Brodhead is one of the more underrated guitar players around today. Focus on him sometime. He can melt your face.
This night Turkuaz omitted “Coast To Coast,” the live staple from their debut album, and traded it for the ever intense rare gem, “Back To Normal.” I’m amazed at what a visual spectacle “The Generator” is live. I love the acapella vocal rhythm section of “M’ Lady.” It shows how multi-faceted of a gem Turkuaz truly is. The ladies of the band absolutely owned “Everyone’s a Winner.” I can’t get over how well vocalist Shira Elias has really fallen into place and become comfortable in her role. She was added to the band roughly two years ago when then singer Geneva had to step away from life on the road and the demanding Turkuaz touring schedule. I have been fortunate enough to see Shira from the point she was still “trying out” for the position and she has really blossomed from someone that was trying to learn her role, almost playing catch up, to this powerhouse who commands the stage and the performance. She has really become a key player and a perfect counterpart to Sammi Garett on vocals.
Turkuaz is the total package and they have their game down! They are as visual as they are funky. They have the sound, the hook, and the look. Thursday’s show was intense. You can’t carry the relentless touring schedule of Turkuaz and NOT improve as a band and as musicians. They amaze me everytime and are easily the best funk band around right now. I had the privelege of a quality conversation with drummer Mikey Carubba earlier Thursday, in which he discussed his time at the Catskill Chill festival in September and gave us a sneak peak at what he has cooking for 2017 – news you WILL NOT want to miss! Stay tuned to Upstate Music and Food for our interview.
Lika, 20 Dollar Bill, Chatte Lunatique > Future 86, Percy Thrills the Moondog, Tiptoe Through the Crypto, Bubba Slide, M’Lady, It’s So Hard, Night Swimming, Snap Your Fingers, The Generator, Digitonium, Back to Normal, Everyone’s a Winner > Monkey Fingers.
Encore: Lookin’ Tough Feelin’ Good
Author: George DiFabio
Photography: Jerrie DiFabio