Written and Photographed by Amanda Marcazo
Nothing warms up a bitter cold night in New Jersey like hot funk and cool dancing, and that’s what we got for sure on Thursday January 31st. Kung Fu brought the fire down to The Stanhope House in snowy Stanhope, NJ to show a historic old Sussex County blues club how the funk is done. Supported by opening bands Mythology, Funkadelic Astronaut, and local favorites Fish House Road, the venue was full of fun faces and well warmed up for a good time when the guys in Kung Fu took the stage.
The band was in fantastic form and kicked off the set with their Ninja Cuts tracks “Scorpion” and “Caught Up”, both done with their usual expertly crafted groove and funk flavor. They followed those with a swift kicking instrumental called “The Lurker”. Their song “The Get Down”, a personal favorite off of the band’s album Joyride, was done really fast and incredibly precise. It did exactly what it promises by sending the whole crowd feverishly getting down with their brand of heavy energy and impressively impossible solos. They treated us to a slightly trippy instrumental called “Dirty Power”, and then pulled out some intensity with more Joyride tracks, “Daddy D” and “Chin Music”. It’s almost difficult to review a Kung Fu show because with a normal band you highlight the incredible solos. With Kung Fu, the whole show is incredible solos. Where would I even begin?
The band threw the crowd for a loop with a track from funk-soul bass virtuoso Thundercat called “Oh Sheit, It’s X”, sending high energy funk grooves through the building. Just when we thought we couldn’t dance any more, they did us all in with their wickedly heavy dance groove track “Samurai” to close out the night. There were more than a few shouts from the crowd for just one more, but it was not to be and we all reluctantly went back out into the bitterly cold evening.
Kung Fu is that band that has five members who at one time are all the best guy in the band, simultaneously pulling off the most incredible solo you have ever seen. It’s kind of mind bending because you don’t know where to look, so instead, you just dance. I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t wait for a triumphant Kung Fu return to Stanhope.
- Caught Up
- The Lurker
- The Getdown
- Dirty Power
- Daddy D
- Chin Music
- Oh Sheit, It’s X (Thundercat cover)