Jimmy's On The James, in Downtown Lynchburg, got "funked up" last night, as the area's biggest, baddest funk extravaganza, Tony Camm & The FUNK Allstars, tore the roof off the sucka.
The band, downsized to just six performers (as opposed to it's usual fifteen) to accommodate Jimmy's small venue size, consisted of frontman/bandleader Tony Camm and wife Jacqui on vocals, Chris Schmitt on keys and vocals, Jimmy Young on guitar, John Bailey, Sr. on drums, and Kevin Daye on bass, and from the first note established that it was certainly not downsized in energy and a determination to get the crowd moving.
After asking the crowd if they were "ready to party?", Camm led the band into a rollicking version of "Play That Funky Music", which compelled members of the crowd to immediately take to the dance floor...and the party was underway.
Following was a meaty, funked up version of "This Is How We Do It", which was highlighted by Camm working the room and getting each and every patron in attendance to individually sing the song's hook.
Now almost thirty minutes into the show, and only two songs down, the band featured the vocals of Chris Schmitt and Jacqui Camm on a passionate rendition of "Use Me" that thrilled the crowd.
The evening proceeded at a break-neck pace as the band refused to let up off the gas and give the crowd a moment to catch their breath, and Camm found more and more ways to engage the audience , at one point proclaiming "we're gonna have to share our pay from tonight with the crowd...the band is now forty-five people".
There was a P-Funk medley of "Flash Light" and "Give Up The Funk" and a monster version of "Brick House" that included a Soul Train-esque dance-off in which Camm pulled un-suspecting patrons out of their seats and onto the dance floor.
That proclaimed band size grew yet again as other members of the collective who were not billed on the show began to pop-in at the venue and squeeze in onstage.
Saxophonist Trev Hicks arrived with his horn just in time to get in on the "making of a funk song" version of "Jungle Boogie", vocalist Champ Scott grabbed the mic and rocked the crowd on "Give It To Me Baby" and "My Prerogative", and New York entertainer Chiller Streeter was called up to do a high-energy performance of "Billie Jean", complete with glitter, gold and dance moves.
A mash-up of "Gold Digger" and "No Diggity" turned the crowd up a notch, and featured a crowd-pleasing Queen Pen rap by Jacqui Camm, and managed to weave in remnants of Cardi B, Big Sean and G-Easy, with the audience all joining in on the "making money moves" hook of "Bodak Yellow".
The evening concluded with a fifteen minute rendition of "Da Butt" that morphed into "Fire", "Atomic Dog", and a unifying excerpt from the band's own "One Rhythm, One Nation" before finally ending on a crowd-involved "One Nation Under A Groove".
As expected, the band established why they are indeed the Allstars of funk, and proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Funk really IS your salvation.
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