Disclaimer: The word "funk" (and its many variations) will naturally pop up a lot in this article. There's absolutely no way around it. You cannot separate it in any way from the band we caught last Friday night at Revolution Live, Dumpstaphunk.
For instance, we have to say that it was funktastic. Ivan Neville and company brought their brand of heavy New Orleans funk to a Fort Lauderdale crowd, leaving every single person in attendance losing control of their bodies and surrendering to it. All were dancing as hard as they could the entire time. Oddly enough, the night didn't start off very funky, but that was by no means a bad thing.
Opening for Dumpstaphunk that night was Miami natives Juke, who played a style of aggressive, Southern blues music that was unlike anything I've heard. Juke describes itself as "post-blues." The band performed to a sparse amount of people. Slowly but surely, more bodies started to move in on the floor (me included) and got way into what these guys were doing.
I would have been content if they just played a normal set, but luckily, South Florida favorite Bobby Lee Rodgers joined them onstage and brought a whole new energy to the night. The entire set was a nice surprise, entrancing, in fact, and a perfect warm-up for the all-out wave of funkitude that was soon to sweep over the entire audience.
Dumpstaphunk came out not too long after, and from start to finish, it quite simply brought the funk. This band personifies the genre as much so as the Funky Meters or any iteration of Parliament (Funkadelic or otherwise) does. Everything about the band is just flawless. The combination of the two bassists/vocalists Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III is just magical. One of the defining moments of the night came when they were working their vocal spectrums, from soulful gospel to a perfect Zeppelin rock style.
At one point in the middle of the set, the two bassists got into a dueling bass-solo jam, which may have been the only moment of Dumpstaphunk's set that everyone stopped full out funking around, and just stared in amazement. The set was filled with super dense funk-fried grooves. It seemed like it couldn't get better, but then somehow it did.
To close out the set, the band started playing Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On," and pretty faithfully at first. The straightforward cover changed after the first chorus. From the shadows emerged Roosevelt Collier, South Floridas resident master pedal-steel guitar player who completely tore it up for one of the most unforgettable jams I've ever witnessed.
Moments like that really remind you why you go to shows in the first place. They ended strong, and came back for an encore, where we were treated to an insane drum solo by the band's newest member Alvin Ford Jr. That transitioned into a nice, long cover of Funkadelic's "One Nation Under a Groove," once again joined by Collier, who had amazing chemistry with guitarist Neville. It was the perfect funky end to a night I'll seriously never forget. If Dumpstaphunk is coming to your town, make sure you go funk it up with them. You'll definitely be in for a funky treat.