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Thundercat

Sep 18, 2017

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As a person who played bass guitar exclusively on both Rock Band 2 and 3, I can tell you from first-hand experience that bassists don’t get the love that they deserve. Often ignored in favor of flashier instruments like the guitar and drums, bassists are stuck in the back; Laying a foundation for the rest of the band to build upon. So, as a serious totally IRL bassist, it was very refreshing to see Thundercat live on Sunday night at the First Avenue Main room. Thundercat brought his custom six string bass to the front of the stage for all to see, showing his uniqueness and dexterity as a bassist throughout the show.

Most of Thundercat’s set was comprised of songs from his latest project Drunk, a stellar album that was released towards the beginning of this year. The live performance breathed new life into tracks that I’ve had on repeat for almost seven months. Jaws dropped as he effortlessly transitioned from “Bus in These Streets” to “These Walls” from To Pimp a Butterfly, an album that has Thundercat’s bass all over it.  Crowd favorites like “Drink Dat”, “Tokyo”, and “Captain Stupido” were belted out by the crowd as the performer looked on and smiled. Although the focus of the night was his newest project, he didn’t forget about his older jams. “Oh Sheit It’s X”, a funky and danceable track that was the first song of his I ever by him heard was played as well. I do feel slightly embarrassed that I was first introduced to Thundercat by flipping through radio stations while playing Grand Theft Auto V in 2013. But hey, it got me where I am today.

Thundercat’s tour band was also noteworthy. Songs that I’ve heard hundreds of times were given new life but superb drumming and killer violin solos. There was a lot of improvisation during the songs as well. The band’s bond was easy to see as no matter how off the wall or random a jam would get, they would always tighten it up and pull it back together in the end.

Thundercat is undoubtedly one of the greatest bassists of our generation and maybe even one of the best to ever do it. His live improvisations, excellent tour band, and killer five-minute bass solos helped bring Drunk into the stratosphere.

Julian Green