Funk music by definition is a stew of jazz, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and reggae. Some of funk’s influences come out more than others and if you were at Wrigleyville’s infamous Cubby Bear on February 10th, you heard them all.
This particular night, if you can remember, was one of the coldest and iciest nights of Chicago winter we’ve felt this year. The bill at the venue had two bands that complimented each other well. The opening band goes by the name of Genome. They’re from Chicago and they bring a lot more to the table than just a cool name.
The second act, Kinetix, is all the way from Colorado and they’re probably responsible for the temperature rise over the last ten days because they brought the fire. Considering their most recent album Let Me In hit #47 on iTunes Top 200 Rock Charts, it’s no wonder that this band rocked the Cubby Bear to the ground.
Genome didn’t just hide in the shadow of Kinetix though. Let’s start at the beginning of the night where any story should begin. Rolling six deep, Genome blended instrumental and electronic sounds including the saxophone and trombone. Horns are always and forever a welcomed sound in this city, especially when it comes to a funk track. And that’s exactly what they started with. Between Patrick Dinnen’s slamming bass sound and Kyle Madsen’s sax, the opening track was the unky in funky.
Their next track took a sharp turn into the reggae realm, giving everyone a chance to catch their breath. They nailed that classic dub sound with echoing guitar and simple organ melodies. The first two tracks were the most impressive, showing their young talent off. This band has so much potential and the direction they are going is a positive one. They were the perfect warm up to the main act.
Kinetix has a lot larger following than anyone expected. An inebriated couple by the bar said they stumbled upon Kinetix during a garden walk a while back and fell in love completely by accident. They traveled three hours to just see Kinetix play this show and were not modest at all with their dance moves to the banger tracks the Kinetix dropped all night.
This quintet definitely ate their Wheaties that morning. Energy like theirs is hard to come by; their performance was everything but lazy. There is no question that this band rehearses a lot because their onstage communication was tight and more than just well-played. These guys work really hard to do their job. Rock n roll has a new sheriff in town. Picking one of them out of the crew and saying that they’re the best at their instrument is impossible because they all rock the hell out of what they play.
Diverse rock n roll like this never hits the circuit here and it’s so replenishing for the soul– their music does a body good. Lead guitarist, Jordan Linit, rocked a guitar solo behind his head, antics which that stage probably hadn’t seen in a long time. It didn’t stop there. Everyone but drummer, Pete Koopmans, got off stage for a short set break while Koopmans banged his own solo for five minutes straight. Those five minutes are best described with a word that is so over used in adjectives. Awesome. It was just awesome.
Kinetix obviously enjoys teasing their fans with cover songs from diverse backgrounds because the two tracks that they teased were so different from each other. One was Nelly’s “Ride With Me,” the famous hip-hop artist’s hit single from 2001. The other teaser was Deadmau5’s energetic dance infused single from 2008, “Ghosts N Stuff.” Hearing a rock band blend in these genres is not only super creative, but also really freaking fun. It brought the crowd back a decade and pretty much every one in that bar shouted, “Hey, must be the money!” when it was appropriate.
Not a disappointed soul left that bar. Their next day hangovers wouldn’t even bother them because nights like these are worth the sacrifice. We are truly thankful for the pain in our knees and feet that a full night of dancing our asses off did to us. Three more words should settle the point if it hasn’t seeped into your brain yet. Go see Kinetix.