Thundercat | photo by Dylan Eddinger for WXPN
Thundercat holds court and connects at The Fillmore Philly
Thursday was a insanely busy night on Allen Street in Fishtown. Thundercat absolutely melted my brain with a sold-out performance of high tempo jazz x funk x R&B, while the Foundry hosted a show upstairs AND the brand new Brooklyn Bowl Philly celebrated its grand opening featuring Soul Collective with George Porter and Questlove.
Back at the Fillmore people were packed in shoulder to shoulder waiting for the for the show to begin. In the crowd I noticed a lot of anime and cartoon graphic tees, which resonates with Thundercat’s fandom for series like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, and Cowby Bebop. I even spotted one fan with a hand drawn portrait of Thundercat on the rail, who received a shout-out from Thundercat as before the set began.
Backed by Dennis Hamm on keys and Justin Brown on drums, the trio started the night off with “Great Scott / 22-26,” “Interstellar Love” and a quick story about fellow LA musician Louis Cole before breaking out into “I Love Louis Cole”; the same three tracks that begin 2020 Grammy-winning album It Is What It Is. Other setlist highlights included “Black Gold,” the collaboration track with Flying Lotus, and a groovy and humorous “Dragonball Durag.” Thundercat closed the night with back-to-back hit tracks “Them Changes” and “Funny Thing” played twice in a row “because it’s a short song, and I love Philadelphia.”
Many times throughout the set I would hear high-pitched, almost trumpet-like music coming from the stage and wonder where the brass section is. I eventually came to the realization that it’s still only the three of them on stage, and that Thundercat is laying it down on the bass making that sound. One of the biggest takeaways I had from this show was the energy Thundercat brought to the crowd; the man was always smiling, telling stories, and making everyone in the place feel like a his best friend. Thundercat continues his tour through the early December and will return in Philadelphia supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Strokes September 3rd at Citizens Bank Park.
Great Scott 22 26
I Love Louis Cole / Overtime
Black Gold (Yasuke)
A Message for Austin
U Have to Be Odd / Got a Match
Lone Wold & Cub
Funny Thing x2