Show Review : Thundercat // Justin Lotz
My pencil bubbles in the last answer on my last final. I shoot from my seat, book it to my car, pick up all of my roommates in Anaheim, and burn rubber for the OC Observatory in Santa Ana, Ca. We are celebrating the beginning of summer with the ruthless yet charismatic LA jazz group Thundercat. The venue is sold out and we arrive right as their set kicks off with the smooth and ambient chords filling the air. The three-piece band with Brown on drums, Hamm on keys, and led by Stephen Bruner on the six-string bass, delved into a set that saw their core jazz sound transition to dance, funk, and even got as heavy as metal. The group never ceased shredding for more than a minute at a time to serve as relief for you digest all the music that enveloped your mind, body, and soul. The venue had the volume CRANKED putting the sounds right in your grill.
The crowd was rather young yet diverse as the faces were often caught in a trance, nodding to the ever evolving rhythms, or grooving with what little room there was to wiggle. Smoke filled the air as they allow weed in the venue made obvious by the Weedmaps van parked right beside the box office. The Observatory is my second favorite venue in all of SoCal (second only to the Hollywood Palladium), and this show was easily the best I’ve seen at this local spot.
Bruner’s playful and charismatic lyrics matched with his silky vocals bring the performance home. They played all of their major tracks from Them Changes to Friend Zone to Oh Shiet its X, but often veered off into deep trance and wild improvisation to remind you that these are no ordinary musicians, these guys are
the real… F’ing… deal!
Thundercat’s newest album Drunk is well worth a listen with your next opportunities to see them coming at the Pomona Glass house on September 2 nd and, for those who were genius/blessed enough to land a ticket to FYF music festival, that will take place the weekend of June 21 st to 23 rd at the Exposition
Park in LA.