TAUK + After Funk at Ironworks, 2/10

TAUK+ After Funk Show Review

by David Jadric

On Wednesday, February 10th I had the personal pleasure of attending the live performance of TAUK, supported by progressive funk band, cleverly named “After Funk”, at the Ironworks bar.

At first glance the ticket made no sense, as who in their right mind would set the mood of the crowd with catchy danceable beats, followed up by an hour and a half jam session lacking both the vocals and the danceable beats of the opener. Did it work? Marvelously.

After Funk, a group of Toronto natives, began their set to a small, awkward crowd who seemed all too self conscious to kick off their dancing shoes. Yet the band would not settle for a dead crowd as the lead singer literally invited them to dance the night away with him and his band. They wasted no time laying down the beats, performing their rendition of “I Call My Baby Pussy Cat”. Their sound was electrifying, almost like a drug, as even I, one of the few sober individuals in the crowd was able to kick my woes away and dance their set away. Another major selling point to the band was their charisma as performers. The lead singer was not shy to come down to the crowd to exchange dance moves, and rest of the band would dance in sync with these corny wedding-esc moves that only made everyone else okay with how bad they could dance. If you mixed together funk music with major rock undertones all sung by your best friend who wants you to dance and have fun you’d get After Funk. A band described an avid fan as “Their favorite import from Canada” (Watch out Abel, these guys are coming for you).

As for the stars of the show, Long Island natives TAUK, their set was nothing short of spectacular. It had seemed the majority of the people in the venue were only there for them as the crowd doubled in size by the time TAUK hit the stage, a testament to a band whose selling point is no singer. In a previous interview I conducted (under the alias of another radio show host, shh don’t tell) with their guitarist Matt, I noted my concern of how a band with no singer could keep a crowd so involved. The reason for this was only because we live in a time where auto tuned rhyming choruses dominate the most popular of music, and I felt that a band breaking this norm would have a hard time with audiences. I was wrong. Everyone in the place was moving to electrifying guitar solos and excellent cohesion between each member of the band. It was a freaking jam to say the least. The lights and smoke complemented the sound well and I felt like that was my visual cue to keep my eyes glued to the stage rather than some front man/woman demanding I do so. The music was great and clearly a love project from passionate musicians as well as five time Grammy winning producer Robert Carranza, and the crowd responded as many linked arms and head bobbed as if we turned this bar into Woodstock.

If either of these bands come through your town, make sure you get to see them. These are two unique bands who are sure to give you and whomever you may bring a great show. These bands brought charisma, fun, and most importantly great music which warmed my Westchester heart in this cold, cold city of Buffalo.