It seems that shark week has taken over Jimmie Simpson Park. This land shark came all the way over from Vancouver and he brought all his crazy friends with him. That band that swam across Canada is Five Alarm Funk and these guys know how to throw the hottest party in Toronto! If you wonder why it has been so hot lately, it is because this band was coming into Toronto and the heat became unbearable. Even the rain did not slow down the party of the summer! I mean these guys really stink! They must sweat at least 5 pounds off, each time they hit the stage. I was tired after the 3rd song and they kept rolling us down with their steamroller of laughter and joy.
Five Alarm Funk is a band that always brings the high spirits to the city and they have been doing this for 20 years now. One of the first things I thought about as they began their set was Frank Zappa’s saying- Does humour belong in music? If it doesn’t, this band is breaking many laws and should be locked up. But you simply cannot lock up this much energy, it will spill into the city and force you to smile and have a great time.
This is a band that can take a very simple concept like cheese or Ice cream and turn it into a song of epic proportions. A song about the Ice Cream man that has the epic sound of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir and the ridiculousness of a fine Zappa tune all rolled into one. They even did a ludicrous song about trains and all I could think about was how Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand fans smile now…
Toronto, all I have to say is, if you love Funk music, you love to laugh and you love to jump around, it would be a crime if you miss this band the next time they are in our fair city.
Here are a few images of Five Alarm Funk:
Opening for Five Alarm Funk was Toronto own funky stage hippies, Steinwall. They warmed up a wet crowd with their laid back sound. Jackson, the lead singer let us know about a couple of his original songs that he wrote through Covid. It may have seemed a little funny at the time, but really, how many songs were written during Covid? Jackson went on to deliver some good news, that they will have a CD of new music out very soon and will be on sale at the Beaches Street Festival coming up in a couple of weeks. I look forward to picking that one up. Make sure you say Hi to them as well. You can feel the authenticity and friendliness emanating from them as they play their music.
They even did a couple of interesting cover songs. They performed Paul Simon’s Kodachrome and Abba’s The Winner takes it all. My partner in crime really enjoyed the timbre of his voice, and so I listened a little more closely and could here that unique sound that Al Green has. The crowd did not want to see them go, so they returned to the stage and finished off with such an interesting version and medley of jungle songs. They corralled a fun mix of Welcome to the jungle and Jungle Boogie to finish off their set.
Here are a few images of Steinwall:
If you want to know why Toronto has been so hot, you should have been down to Jimmie Simpson Park to take in the finest Funk this town has seen in a while!