Photos by Jim Gilbert
Red Square was packed wall to wall on yet another Friday night. The McLovins started the night off with their funky jams that kept the atmosphere of the bar sprightly in anticipation for Kung Fu to take stage. As we sat at the bar it seemed as though the line was never ending, pouring in from the first big snow of the season. The McLovins trailed off into an up-tempo jam out of “Shakedown Street” which always brings a whimsical feel to any set.
When Kung Fu took the stage the crowd became electrified with energy. The first time I really got to enjoy these guys was at Catskill Chill this past September. I was seriously blown away at how much energy they transfer into their crowd. They remind me of an instrument wielding, new age version of the Ninja Turtles (this could be a result of their name). Their five piece funk fusion pumped out the feel good jams all night, the saxophone and keyboard combo leaving no realm untouched. You can tell watching them that they are so deeply committed to the music they are playing. Their keyboardist, Todd Stoops looks around excitedly at his other band mates as he slammed on his keys. The shredding guitar solos and bass lines that ripped through the crowd were split up beautifully by trancey soft drums and delicate jam pieces. The entire time as I watched them play I was hoping “Man, I hope they take a break so I can get a drink without missing anything.” Although I was disappointed they did not show up fully clad in their kung fu suits, I was blown away by the explosive set these guys pumped out in Albany’s own, Red Square. Needless to say, I got “Kung Fu’d.”