(with Rhythm Republik)

At the Wetlands, NYC (8/15/00)


The funky Mark Bass & The Funkmaster General!!!

At 9:30pm, Rhythm Republik started with "Sweatshop Blues"......I can honestly say that Rhythm Republik has improved since the last time that I saw them. "Sweatshop Blues" had some ass-shakin', heavy bass by Mark Bass and some standout synthesized chords by The Pearl! Groovalicious's guitar riffs were......groovalicious! Tanya Thillet is the new co-lead vocalist and she sounded wonderful, as well as Shindig (of Digg Deep a/k/a D'Tripp) and Jamie B (of Sugar Bush)!! "Stay Broke" and "Chocolate Starr" were next, with more of Pearl's standout (or outstanding) keyboard riffs on "Chocolate Starr". The newest song for the RRR (Rhythm Republik Revue) was "Psychic Toll", a funky R&B song that is keyboard & bass dominated, with some excellent rhythm guitaring and super vocals by Tanya!! "Sadie" was a great soulful cover of the Spinners tune (dedicated to the late Phillipe Wynne.........the Spinners former frontman), with great lead vocals by the Funkmaster General and Shindig!! "All Saints Fall" was okay, but personally, I think the "AHHHHHHH"'s during the choruses were a bit too much. "Disposable Culture" was next, followed by a rock intro to "Never Put Me Under (Rise Up)", with a hardcore guitar solo ending the set at 10:15pm.

Click here for pictures of Rhythm Republik

Mary Harris & Michael Franti in action!!!

After checking out The Spooks (a hip-hop act) for about 25 minutes, I waited till 11:40pm, when Spearhead started their set. The Spearhead set featured Mary Harris on vocals.....DAMN, I thought they would have Mary play drums on one song, but they didn't. The first song was funky, with moments of bombastic drumming and some great synthesizer/organ funk! Spearhead, headed by frontman/lead vocalist Michael Franti, did some songs that dealt with socio-politics. This two-hour show (with a 30-minute encore that started at 1:10am) included some fiery guitar riffing and heavy bass. The vocals of Michael and Mary were very good.

The personnel: Michael Franti (lead vocals), Mary Harris (vocals), Carl Young (sax, flute & bass), Ramon Lazo (keyboards), Roberto Quintana (drums), and Dave Shul (guitar).

Click here for pictures of Spearhead

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