Thundercat Gets Groovy in LA Check out our review and photos from his performance at The Wiltern Theatre!
LOS ANGELES, CA- Last week singer/songwriter and bass maestro Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, pounced into town for a sold-out show at The Wiltern Theatre in LA. The frenzied fans came prepared, ready to get down with the funk master. Considering most concerts are being canceled for the unseeable future these days, those in attendance for this show should feel lucky to have experienced such an eclectic performance as one of their last for a while. I know I do because Thundercat is a performer like no other out there right now.
Known to many for his numerous collaborations with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington, and Flying Lotus, Thundercat is rapidly becoming a household name of his own. His fanbase has become almost cult-like as of late. There were even some superstars spotted getting their groove on in the audience, including Brad Pitt, Ariana Grande, and Beck to name a few. It seems his fans come just as diverse as his music flows.
Taking the stage wearing a jacket as sparkly as his smile and rocking a giant hot pink bass draped over his shoulder, Thundercat got the crowd jamming right away. The first song was literally a ten-minute jam session that set the tone of the night, which was basically a vibe like- we don’t know what’s going to happen but we are here for the ride! And Thundercat and his three-piece band definitely took us on a wild ride. Performing songs from all his solo releases, including “Captain Studio,” “Friend Zone,” and “Tron Song,” Thundercat had the crowd in the palm of his hands the entire evening.
Halfway into the set, Thundercat paid homage to a couple of loved ones that he lost in recent times. The sentimental moment recalled his friendships with label mate Austin Peralta and hip hop star Mac Miller. Pictures of the artists projected on the screen while he told stories and encouraged the audience to cherish time with their loved ones. He dedicated the song “Heartbreaks & Setbacks” to those recently lost. Knowing that Mac Miller’s ex, Ariana Grande, was in the crowd made my heart sting even more.
Thundercat kept the crowd on their feet with his band’s unique mix of funk, jazz, 80’s pop, and 90’s punk all mixed into one. Bruner’s soulful, smooth falsetto has the ability to transcend you to another time, sometimes the past, sometimes the future. Let’s just say if I had been high at this show, it would’ve been a fantastic trip!
For the finale, Thundercat brought out Flying Lotus, Producer Steve Arrington, and Steve Lacy to help him with this latest single “Black Qualls.” To say the crowd was ecstatic would be an understatement. Everyone left the building on a high. It was such a fun and bizarre show, which to me, made it perfect.
Thundercat’s upcoming album “It Is What It Is” is supposed to be released on April 3rd