Date: Thursday March 15th, 2012
Line up: Dumpstaphunk
Location: The Compound Grill. Scottsdale, AZ
Dumpstaphunk is not your typical band. The New Orleans outfit also doesn’t put on your average show. Nothing about this group screams ordinary. From the moment each of the five band members picked up their instruments, the funk was nonstop. Yet, at first the modern Scottsdale nightclub’s dance floor was barren, as everyone stuffed into the tables and booths lining the sidewalls. However, with two bass guitars, steady beats and an organ that forces your body into motion, the dance came alive.
Just to make sure the crowd’s full attention was completely entrenched in the music, Dumpstaphunk opened their performance with a seven-minute long instrumental ballad with guitar solos and screaming keys from Ian and Ivan Neville. The band’s sound is suited for outdoor festivals with over a hundred thousand fans gathered around, but on a Thursday night in Arizona, Dumpstaphunk gave a memorable festival performance for a few hundred people at the Compound Grill.
After going on and on speaking with their instruments rather than lyrics, Dumpstaphunk properly introduced their full sound to the audience with “Put It In The Dumpsta”. Within this song, it seemed like each band member was playing a game with one another, trying to top the other with their instrument. Tony Hall (Vocals/Guitar/Bass) would lead in with a surreal guitar lick, and two bars later, Ian Neville is ripping off his best two-minute Jimi Hendrix impersonation. Meanwhile, Nicky Gillespie, the female drummer from Dumpstaphunk, was behind her floor tom heavy drum set keeping a steady beat. No one truly out-shined any other performer onstage, but it wouldn’t be right to not highlight Ivan Neville.
Not only has the older of the sons of Aaron Neville played with the likes of Keith Richards, the New Orleans Social Club, and The Spin Doctors, but it is clear that he has embraced the talents of those around him, both past and present. During the performance on Thursday, Ivan Neville at times sang, whaled on the double layered organ and keyboard, while also picking up the electric guitar and displaying his six-string talents for the crowd’s pleasure. The love of a true musician is a sight to see, when no matter what instrument is at his or her fingertips, the music belted out still sings one fine song.
One of my favorites from the evening was a little ditty called “She’s Music”. Much like Dumpstaphunk’s other songs, this one lasted for over six-minutes. Although, no one cared how long each song went on for. In fact, the band could still be playing to this moment, and the crowd would still be moving and grinding. The songs played are not so much lyrically driven as “Phunk” infused. Then again, that is the purpose of “The Phunk”. Heavy bass lines to keep the positive moment, while highlighting the chorus, ever so slightly; that is the style of Dumpstaphunk.
After playing festivals at Banaroo, Wakarusa, 10,000 Lakes, and the New Orleans Jazz Festival every single year since 2005, it is easy to see why Dumpstaphunk is one of the most desired live acts to see. No matter what the venue holds for capacity, the fans in attendance will be in for one funky show. The grooves will make you dance with the beat on end, and at the end, you will be begging the members to play an encore even after an extended set concluded. Just like the band said as they left the stage, “Next time, we will be back even sooner for you!” And, the fans can only hope so!