Lettuce Funk Up NYC With 2-Night Show Run
With a serious appetite for funk, bring a dish of Lettuce into your life and you’re sure to be triumphantly satisfied. That’s exactly what we did this weekend - spending our Friday and Saturday nights submerged in an audial journey that is the Lettuce experience. A dense crowd of unapologetically enthusiastic funk-lovers packed out NYC’s PlayStation Theatre, ready to celebrate the fourth full-length album, Crush, released November 6th. Supporting acts were top notch, featuring Break Science Friday and Marco Benevento Saturday, with Soulection’s Chris McClenney opening both nights.
(All images shot by B.a.D. Photography)
Chris purified and balanced the energy at the start of shows with super vibey sounds (if you didn’t know, now ya know). This wasn’t the show to converse while the opener plays; NYC’s crowd surrendered to the soul that this Soulection artist brought into the equation. If you’re looking to keep the relationship going, his debut Soulection White Label EP is a good place to start.
Friday night brought us a follow up that is hard to top. Break Science, electro-duo consisting of Lettuce percussionist Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee, are a creative force that have landed a spot on the list of most respectable and genius producers in the game. Entangled in a sea of lights and sonorous bass, the pair was far from timid in all the right ways. Merging a perfect cocktail of trip-hop, heavy dub and jazzy twists & turns, the attendees were left with exceeded expectations. This performance marks the middle of their Force Of Naure Tour, proceeding their latest track, “Force Of Nature” featuring Paperwhite.
Marco Benevento continued the trend Saturday evening, captivating the crowd in a different aesthetic. An incredibly seasoned sound resonated out of Marco’s being and into the keyboard he played. Needless to say, we got engulfed in a Benevento-induced trance watching this performance. Amidst mind-blowing improvisation and some crowd favorites, it was exquisite to hear his latest project, Swift (iTunes), played out exactly as it deserved to be heard. The results were intrepid vocals from Benevento himself (for the first time!) and lush symphonies showering listeners in nothing but positivity. An array of melodious colors and textures filled the acoustically pleasing PlayStation Theatre as this musical powerhouse did his thing while we did ours. What a lovely cooperation.
After this crazy array of musical appetizers, it was time to bask in the glory of this event’s main course. The show’s crowd already knew what they were in for, as Lettuce has a following that is known to be impressively and highly dedicated to their music. Just a week ago, the band amped us up for this two-night concert run with the release of Crush (iTunes), completely solidifying their remarkable ability to compose insanely intricate projects. And, of course, experiencing this live was an absolute experience (to say the least). There were boisterous horns. There were eccentric, groovy guitar tones. There were psychedelic elements accompanied with brilliant bass lines. What more could you expect? If you're a Lettuce guru, you'd be sure to recognize the guys play newly released 'Phyllis' and and crowd favorite 'Sounds Like A Party' as well as their recognizable jams. To join Lettuce vocally was platinum-selling R&B vocalist Nigel Hall, who amped up the audience even more - and we didn't even think that was possible. "I want every single person in this room to put your hands up and sing with me!" .. And the crowd did just that. In a sea of bliss and pure happiness, Aaron accompanied Lettuce in a noteworthy way.
These OG’s plowed through the weekend full of tasty tunes like the funk powerhouses they are. The best part about going to see a band that brings a ton of musicians with rare talent is the inevitable jam session that just.. keeps.. going. Did the crowd stop for a second? Absolutely not. We only wanted more grooves as time passed. After what seemed like an Alice In Wonderland-esque experience, the group left the stage.
..Only to be called right back up. Lettuce was ready to end on a good note, and both nights left us with an encore to be remembered. The energy was sensibly harmonious in the atmosphere with amazing talent entertaining such an appreciative crowd. I speak for the entirety when I say that PlayStation Theatre released a group with the most funk-infused vibes in all of Times Square this weekend. May the funk be with you.