The historic Capitol Theatre hosted a night of funk and soul on May 1st thanks to supergroups Kung Fu and The Word. The small crowd of over 500 people left more than enough dance room on the wide open GA floor and prime seating in the loge/balcony with universal grand views of the architecture and visionary light show. The Cap is larger than life with its numerous chandeliers, deep colors of carpeted floors and tall ceilings that glow with the psychedelic projections that glide over the venue.
Kung Fu started the evening with a brief set of electrifying rock and funky heavy jazz with members of RAQ and The Breakfast. The dirty rhythm of Adrian Tramontano with the deep bass notes of Chris DeAngelis was the ideal groove to get the night moving. Todd Stoops kept both hands busy on two different sets of keys throughout the set as Rob Somerville blasted light-hearted funk melodies. Kung Fu will bring their lethal funk to festivals this year such as Disc Jam, Gathering of the Vibes and Catskill Chill.
The Word was greeted with overwhelming cheers and general excitement for a night with the quintet of musical masterminds, as well as this being a rescheduled show for the original date in February. The Word reunites Robert Randolph on steel lap guitar, John Medeski on keyboards, Chris Chew on bass and brothers Cody Dickinson on percussion and Luther Dickinson on guitar for the first time since 2012. The Word performed an outstanding three-hour set full of slip sliding guitar licks, crashing cymbals and rejuvenating organ chords full of bluesy rock. Medeski swam laps over the keys with hard-hitting strokes of spiritual reckoning.
Randolph is an A+ entertainer as he karate chops and both figuratively and literally licks the lap steel strings with a smile in his chair or on his feet. Luther Dickinson energized the crowd with his head to head strumming with Randolph and overall, southern rock flair. The big man himself, Chris Chew, laid out a consistent, booming rhythm much to the delight of the fans and band members after his personal health hiatus back in 2012. The Word will be performing at the Jam Cruise 13 but you can catch individual members, Robert Randolph and the Family Band at Mountain Jam Music Festival, John Medeski will be at this year’s Lockn’ Festival and North Mississippi Allstars members will be touring Europe for the summer. The Word continues to bring together music lovers and band members for a fusion of gospel rocking funk to create a unique and instrumental experience.