Five Alarm Funk played the Pyramid Cabaret the other night to a full house of funked up fans. The band had the audience jumping, dancing and crowd-surfing for their entire 90 minute set.
The West Coast funksters are on a national tour across Canada and this marks their 20th visit not only to Winnipeg but to the Pyramid Cabaret.
I talked with Steve the bartender. Steve has been with the Pyramid for a long time and he’s probably seen most of their shows. He’s still not tired of them as he says they always add new songs to their shows.
Many of the fans I talked with have seen them many times as well and they keep on coming back.
The nine piece band took the stage shortly after midnight. The two percussionists came to the front of the stage, turned around and laid down onto the audience in front of the stage where they proceeded to surf above the crowd. After their quick dip into the sea of funksters, they got back onto the stage for a rousing set of music.
Crowd-surfing seems to be a regular feature at their shows. The last time I saw therm, the saxophone player crowd-surfed his way to the bar, on his back, to get a birthday drink, all the while playing his sax.
Many of the fans also took to the waves of arms that held them aloft on the sea of funk.
Lots of percussion on stage with a drummer at front and centre and a conga player on his right and percussionist on his left.
The brass section consisted of two saxophones and a trumpet player. Two guitarists and a bass player rounded out the triple trio.
I’m not too sure who has more fun at these shows, the band or the audience. The happy smiles seem to flow in both directions.
While Funk is their main groove, elements of Jazz, Ska and Reggae can also be heard. Every once in a while the trumpet added a bit of a Mexican feel.
From the wild stories of the drummer between songs to the wacky outfits of the conga player, to the animated antics of the percussionist, these folks put the FUN into funk.
The string section (guitars and bass) and the horn section had some pretty slick coordinated dance moves to go with their grooves.
Just before the encore, the drummer made an announcement that on their way back home after the tour, they were going to visit the Pyramid on July 13. I’m sure I’ll see a lot of the same faces as I did at this show and the last time, but I’m sure I’ll see lots of new ones as well. The Five Alarm Funk army just seems to keep on growing.
All photos by Doug Kretchmer
Videos courtesy of Doug QUIDAM