I had barreled down I-35 to Austin thinking I was running late only to arrive to an empty venue. Emo’s had opened its doors at 7pm, but the opener, Austin’s own Cloudchord, wasn’t slated to start until 9.
It wasn’t surprising to find Cloudchord there. In fact, I expected it. Having seen him earlier this year opening for Lotus, I knew his bass heavy, live guitar infusions would work well to set the stage for the electro-funk madness that is The Floozies.
One hour and a Thundercloud sandwich later, Cloudchord opened the night to a nice sized crowd. And what a warm up it was.
Crossing his original music with remixes of vintage and modern classics, Cloudchord delivered a set worth more than an average opening slot. A particular stand-out was the closing number – an outstanding live remix of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.”
Afterwards, The Widdler played his first ever set at Emo’s – and proceeded to blow up the speakers with an outrageous dub mix largely composed of original music.
By the time The Floozies took the stage at 11pm, the place was buzzing with a festival atmosphere. The Floozies have that type of draw – they come from the same funky family as GRiZ, Big Gigantic, and – funk heavy-hitters – Lettuce. So when they got to dropping bass bombs, it fit to see flowing dresses twirling and and Grateful Dead stealies bouncing.
They played for an hour and a half straight, straddling the line between jamming and DJ’ing – dropping filthy bass and shredding guitar solos in the same breath. Their approach to funk is aggressive and synth-driven, tempered with a cheeky sense of humor. That’s what makes it so infectiously fun. And the lights… talk about fancy things.
It was the most outrageous light show I have seen in recent times. The intricacies and effects took the music to another level. Truly, the lighting specialist is the unsung hero of the band. Take a minute to watch him – he jams just as hard as the players on stage.
The fusion of electro-driven bass drops and classic funk guitar give the duo its identity. It’s a sound both old and new. Funk hasn’t really changed – the only things that have changed are the tools used to make it. It’s a good thing we have bands like The Floozies bringing the funk into the future – and funky people like us to give them a wave to ride.
All Photos & Words by Chris Lazaga