Buffalo fusion jam rockers Funktional Flow played to a packed house at Buffalo Iron Works in honor of their latest release Time Will Tell. The Roaring Twenties-themed evening saw fans dressed to the nines and enjoying the growing attitude of Funktional Flow’s sound.
The opening band, Buffalo-based trio AjamajA, showcased extreme depth, especially for a three-piece. Guitarist Jason Staniszewski played with a distinct sound and mastered skill set. Funktional Flow guitarist Jeffrey Kuebler briefly sat in with the band to help close out AjamajA’s set.
Funktional Flow continues to impress. They look and sound like a band ready to expand. And if given the right opportunities this summer, Funktional Flow could begin to make a name for themselves outside of the Buffalo music scene.
The evening showcased several sit-ins, and well placed horns added another dimension to Flow’s sound. There’s a growing showmanship to their stage presence, too. Ryan Acanfora sat in for the entire evening, giving a new element to percussion. These new elements created a more dimensional, layered sound, perhaps a reflection on their time together in the studio. And those simple elements, if only added for the evening, showed a band looking how to expand their studio sound to their live performance.
The band’s first set weaved several new songs with some of the band’s more classic tunes. Crowd favorites like “Leaving Town” and “Mulligans” saw positive growth with the evening’s added elements. The band selected clever covers for the night including songs by the Beatles, the Clash and A-ha.
The night’s second set paid tribute to the band’s new album, as Time Will Tell was played in its entirety. The album’s first single, “Back Door,” continues to impress; the crowd buzzed that the tune is felt to be this album’s showpiece by many fans. Other second set favorites included “New Haven” and “Moving On.”
Watching Flow on stage, dressed in vintage attire, there was a glimpse of a bigger picture to their expanding and growing sound. Mixed among the funk-reggae-rock fusion, hints of swing and ragtime tributes shyly appeared. It’s a style that is most prominent in key-heavy tunes like “Back Door.” If Flow could capitalize on this evolving sound, they could find that they have a unique and fresh perspective to their songwriting and performance. These sounds, when they appear in Funktional Flow’s music, present some of the band’s brightest moments.
Although the band is looking to expand throughout the Northeast, Funktional Flow’s current show schedule has them staying close to home. They will hit up the King’s Rook Club in Erie, PA, on March 11.
Set One: Dumber > Funk D, Walking Blind, Untitled, Leaving Town^ > Ambush, Shape, Baby, You’re a Rich Man*, Moonlight Tide#, Mulligans^, Rock the Cashbah**%,
Set Two: Back door, Trouble^, Time Will Tell^, Gone, On the way, Let Me In, New Haven, Strong Feeling^, Dreidel, Moving On, Ben’s Beach^, Take On Me***^
^ Horns – Matt Harris (sax), Joe Cheslak (trombone), Pat Allison (trumpet)
***A-Ha (Reel Big Fish version)
# Jason Staniszewski (AjamajA)
% Jeff Lewis (vocals and harmonica)
Ryan Acanfora (percussion)