Five Alarm Funk @ Richard’s On Richards
Friday, February 13th 2009

Judging from the near-capacity crowd filling Richard’s on Friday night it was obvious that something special was about to go down. The buzz in the air was thick enough to slice through and the one thing on everyone’s mind was having a good old-fashioned funky dance party. Having little experience with Five Alarm Funk I could only go on the few stories I had heard about what to expect, “epic” being a standard description. This much was true as it became clear from the start that this band is not one to just give you what you paid for. They go above and beyond by pretty much setting the place on fire with their incredibly tight groove. Thankfully the only fires were of the (somewhat) safe musical variety because I swear there were so many people in that room, had there actually been a fire we would all have been fucked, albeit with smiles on our faces and a dance in our steps.
The night was split into two sets, the first acting as almost a warm up session for both the band and audience alike with a slightly scaled down version of Five Alarm playing a handful of songs that moved through funk/jazz-fusion riffs and rock with its groove pants on. After about forty-five minutes or so, right around the time that I started to “get it” the band came to a finale and waved goodbye while tearing down and unplugging their equipment. How confusing, all that hype and all of these people for a paltry handful of songs? It all seemed so final and just as I was about to run amok and scream blue murder I noticed that nobody was leaving the dance floor and eventually the band started filtering back onstage, proceeding to assemble an entirely new stage setup along with a couple of extra members who I didn’t remember seeing during set number one.
Things proceeded to get blisteringly hot as the band launched forth into an hour long-plus percussion heavy funk-fusion set that bordered on manic to absolutely insane. Rarely have I seen a Vancouver audience so into a show and the energetic call-and- response banter between the two forces at work on that floor was really fun to witness. If you like to dance your ass off and have not seen these guys already, go out of your way to do so. Bring plenty of water and not many clothes, because the heat that this band generates is some serious five-alarm madness that will leave you gasping for more. Awesome!

~Nathan Pike Posted: Mar 5, 2009
In this Article Artist(s) Five Alarm Funk Resource(s): Richard's On Richards