Too many Five alarmers…

Five Alarm Funk

Written by Joe Taylor

March 14, 2019

Five Alarm Funk got to add The Danforth Music Hall to their resume of cool places to play in Toronto. From the opening note, you knew this was going to be something special. The first two songs in and the conga player had already changed his shirt four times and ended up topless at the end of it all, not even Cher can do that. This is a band that will get you jumping. There were grandmothers throwing down their canes to jump about. There were crying babies that were sad because they didn’t know how to jump yet, and yes this also happened to white men as well. The guy on percussion gave himself a concussion.

The band was a solid wall of gripping sounds that whirled and twirled you and got your full attention for their entire set. The high energy set was filled with a crazy percussion section and a horn section that held everything together. The guitars had a chance to show off their wares and they did it in a jungle funk like fashion. Near the end they invited the sax player up from Too many Zooz to play a little ditty called, “Wake the Funk Up”. It was a killer set and I hope the next time they play Toronto, they will be headlining The Danforth Music Hall.

Here are some pics from Five Alarm Funk’s performance:

Too Many Zooz came on soon after. Their stage set was extremely bare but that didn’t seem to matter because the Sax player owned the entire stage with his dance moves and high intensity playing. The other two guys held back but played with passion and precision. They are a three piece unit from New York City and were discovered in the subway doing what they do best, entertaining the crowd. The second song they even threw in a funky cover of AC/DC’s TNT.

Like I mentioned earlier, the sax player had the moves of a dancing fool but the sureness of a feline predator. He had a lot of small musical gestures that he fed the crowd throughout their entire show. The middle of the show slowed down because the band felt it was necessary to go into a long tirade of swanky jazz ideas. This ending up into a live rave that some of the crowd really sunk their teeth into. They felt confident enough to try this approach, because clearly this band practiced their way to this level of showmanship.  The trumpet player switched over to the keyboards and changed the dynamic of their sound.

The sax player decided it was a good idea to walk into the crowd while he was playing. Well he was right, the audience loved it and on the way back he even had a happy fan kiss him on the cheek. I hope she washes her lips. I hope she was listening to Five Alarm Funk when they taught us to wash our face.

Too Many Zooz finished the evening on a sentimental sound, and it turned in a very sincere and joyous goodbye. They made it back on for the final number called, “Warriors”. This was the song everyone in the audience was waiting for and we all finished on a high note.

Here are some pics from Too Many Zooz’ performance:

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