1,000 miles away in Live Oak, Florida, an enormously large portion of my beautiful musical family were raging their faces off at the Wanee Musical Festival. Knowing that neither of us could attend, my girl Jenn came for a visit so that we may have each others shoulder to lean upon for the weekend. Being that Wanee is known as one of the “Land Cruises,” and having met Jen on last year’s Jam Cruise, we were both going through some serious withdrawal from our friends, or rather, our “Jamily.”
But a beautiful aspect of music is that it connects everything, through space and time. Through the cosmos, through our minds, through the notes. Zach Deputy performed on Jam Cruise 8 and both Jen and I learned of him for the first time on the boat. I was DYING for him to come to the city since that time. And what better a weekend to come!! Zach Deputy came and saved the day 🙂 I bet you one million dollars that Zach wanted to be at Wanee with everyone just as bad as we did. And so we would all dance and smile and sing together in NYC, extending our energy to our friends at Wanee, and feeling their love in return.
We got to Sullivan Hall around 11pm. Zach was slated to go on at 11:30pm but when I heard a band say, “We are just getting started to get ready to dance!,” I knew things were on “schedule.”
The Kinetixs, from Denver, Colorado, are composed of:
They started out the set with Big Screen. I was just arriving at this point and not paying attention at all. I walked over to the coat check and then Jen and I made the first of many restroom pit stops of the night. Again, Sullivan Hall was boiling hot so I would be pumping water into my system nonstop. Adam Lufkin, on guitar and vocals, sounded like a mix between that guy from Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz. While waiting in the long line for the rest room, because one of the stalls was not fixed and never got fixed, I started to fully pay attention and get hooked. They were FUN. They were FUNKY (at times). They were SO full of energy! Bouncing all over the stage, jumping up and down, kicking their legs in the air in unison. Smiles everywhere amongst the funk/rock/pop.
Sunshine followed. A slow, pretty intro made way for Adam’s guitar to cry a little in the beginning of this jammy, slightly reggae tune. I was immediately thrown back to my college days in the preppy KA frat house. Not sure how I felt about that. “What happened to all the birds I used to see fly. It feels if they all feel down to the earth and died!” What? The song was just a little too meant for a radio perhaps, for my taste. There was not a lot of instrument play or rage. It had a pretty message but it was too cookie cutter for me. Next please!
Straight into the rockin’ guitar for a measure or two, then the rest of the group joins in, Own Mind got it kicking again. I remember really diggin’ the keys player, Eric Blumenfeld, at this point. All that energy was out on stage again and they were bouncing and jumping. It was impossible to get great shots at ANY point do to the dancing. A fantastic rage of a jam tune. Much more up my alley. Sure there were some lyrics: “filling up my soul with love and passion,”but when they finally got past the lyrics, they had time to let it RIP. The guitars were rippin, the drums were keepin’ it up up up!
The keys started off Ruined It, another funky little jam. But, another song that seemed built for the radio. It was catchy, simple; feels like its built off a formula. Eric really let loose during this song. You know I enjoyed it….simple, funky, he definitely could have brought more but that is because I am a picky ass keys person. But he raged it, he enjoyed it thus we enjoyed it.
Then, we have what was, by far, my favorite song of their set: People. Adam screams: “People start hoppin'” over and over. Under the rhythm of the vocal beat, the drums start joining in and escalated slowly until they blast out with the start of the song and then it was ON. Everyone was hopping, jumping around, dancing, just like they were telling us to do. “Get the show to start hopping, all when the beat start dropping….” Adam has a yummy voice and this was just a fun jammy tune telling us to move and get ready to go! It might have been lyric heavy, but the chorus was infectious. Another showcase for the guitars to rage, it is straight rock with some funky beats.
Finally, they threw in a cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. This was actually really fun. It sounded great but it was when people started putting their arms around their significant others, around their friends, huggin and swayin and just feeling the lyrics and music, that I truly felt a moment in the music. It’s the wonderful part of performances like that…the times when the musicians touch the crowd and the energy grows…and you can feel it! And then it was over. Just like that.
Steppin’ outside for some fresh air, there was Zach Deputy! Why on EARTH I didn’t grab a picture with him is beyond me as he was there open and talking to everyone! Just like always. I spoke to him a bit about Jam Cruise and gave him up to attend to other anxious fans. I turn to my right and there is a giant banana hanging out with the crowd. Apparently, this man meant business.
Part of The Banana Mafia, “The Don” was raging the show hard throughout the night. I always saw him dancing ECSTATICALLY, banana hat flapping around and blinking glasses helping him stick out even further! I loved him and I can’t wait to SPOT him again. The best part of the interaction was when a fellow musician who had come from his own gig to watch Zach, began peeling a banana. Seriously? And thus, the picture above was snapped. I love when stuff like that happens!
Keep reading for Zach Deputy’s Review ….