A Truly Enjoyable Ride: The Pharcyde at Brooklyn Bowl Philly - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

30 years have passed since four young men from California took us on a bizarre ride. I can remember first listening to that whole record on a bus ride home from summer school, and all these many years later, the group known as The Pharcyde was live at Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia delivering their funky fun-filled music to a packed house on a chilly November night.

One of my favorite things about The Pharcyde was how playful their music was, and they started the night with one of their most silly and fun songs: “Ya Mama.” Down one man in Bootie Brown, the three now men who I can still only see as their younger selves put on a hell of a show, and from the interplay between them and the audience, you can tell they’ve been at this for years. The lighting changed the mood to match many of their songs like the greens on “Pack the Pipe” and reds on “4 Better Or 4 Worse.”

The Pharcyde | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

About halfway through the show, Fatlip dedicated it to a man named Reggie Andrews. He was an artist, educator, and mentor for artists like Tyrese Gibson, Thundercat, and The Pharcyde who passed away last year. Fatlip even went on to say that every record sampled for Bizarre Ride was from Andrews’s collection. That led into maybe their biggest song ever, “Passin’ Me By.” They guys also honored their friend and collaborator J Dilla, who produced several songs on the groups’ second album Labcabincalifornia. We even got treated to one of my favorite songs, the Dilla remix version of “She Said,” and Slimkid Tre can still hit some notes.

The Pharcyde | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

The crew closed the show with the classic “Runnin’,” with most of the crowd rapping every word. An out and out amazing night from a group that holds a real special place in my heart, who I haven’t seen live in over 25 years. Time must pass differently on The Pharcyde, because their music is timeless, and I was definitely in that place Wednesday night!

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