Pulling up to the secluded Rock ‘N’ Roll Resort after a long drive through thick woods, we arrived at what appeared to be the set of The Shining. Thankfully we found that it was the snappy, upbeat rhythms of Mister F, not ‘Johnny‘ smashing through the door.
The Capitol Region’s energetic quartet set the tone for the night, throwing plenty of funk in the air and it was very, very well received. Happy faces milled about the lobby, some torn between the intimidating long line for dinner and the finite. waning minutes of Mister F – while others splashed themselves on the many couches preparing body and mind for the marathon of music ahead. Mister F made every minute of theirs count, and as always – left us wanting more.
After a swift stop at a friend’s room and a run to the local pizzeria (we turned out to be heroes as the resort rocked themselves right out of food) we were delighted to re-enter to the smooth jams of Spiritual Rez. The Boston-based Reggae-rock dance party was exactly what I needed to warm up after a nice meal. Hearing their sound for the first time, I understood the smile that accompanied the many faces that have urged me to give them a listen. That room was a shoulder to shoulder mass of happiness for a full hour, swaying in unison and overjoyed at every sing-along & keytar solo. Both the literal and figurative positive vibrations flying off that stage were magical, and the perfect appetizer for the night’s main course.
Immediately upon striking their first note, it became evident that Turkuaz had taken the stage donning their finest dancin’ shoes. It was electric from the start, the crowd was locked and the Brooklyn locals proceeded to blow the socks off the 700+ ringing in The New Year. My personal favorite, Bubba Slide, may have been the highlight of my evening, though the cover of the classic Beatles hit “With A Little Help From My Friends” was staggeringly perfect. I was frozen from beginning to end with rich harmonies and heartfelt melodies, guts & guitars – it was perfect.
At the very moment midnight struck and those balloons struggled to fall, one by one, I had to put my camera down for a moment and physically take it in. Everyone in that room was exactly where they wanted to be, including me – and for good reason.
Following the humongous sound of Turkuaz is a tough act, but Primate Fiasco brought their best hand to the table and showed Kerhonkson that they do, indeed, got the funk. Their live sousaphone & electric banjo give Primate Fiasco a unique tone to say the least, and they milked that cow like a seasoned farmer. The body heat was at a max, but it didn’t stop a soul from dancing as the room stayed full and folks filtered in and out – midway through the marathon and showing no signs of stopping.
The main stage was graced next with a unique situation. John, the bassist of Consider The Source had unfortunately fallen ill & unable to perform, however, Jeff Mann & Gabriel Marin stepped up and per usual performed their wizardry. Accompanied by members of the evening’s other acts, CTS didn’t disappoint – delivering an impromptu and hugely improvised set. For those of us that had seen them before, it only further cemented their technical skill and musical prowess, and for those who haven’t – it was an all-star jam of an inauguration.
Finishing the night for me was the exploding balancing act of the thick chunky jams and ethereal raining melodies of TAUK. Bringing what might be the fastest growing thumbprint in the live music scene, the young men from Montauk do what they do best – drop jaws to the floor. Roaring syncopation, cinematic climaxes, and mind-blowing sit-ins (including Consider The Source’s Gabriel Marin) were the perfect nightcap to what was truly a magical evening and a beautiful start to what will undoubtedly be a fantastic year of music.
Thank you Turkaz & Rock ‘N’ Roll Resort – I’ll see you next year!