What I love most about music are all the elements it takes to make up one amazing sound. Sometimes if you break all the elements down you can experience the genius of each sound. Last night I was fortunate enough to witness the incredible bass element that is Thundercat at Trees in Dallas, Texas. It was the final show of the North American portion of his world tour. Although the show was sold out, my boyfriend was determined to get there and I’m so glad I was able to tag along.
Known for his contributions to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and Erykah Badu’s New Amerykah, Stephen Bruner (Thundercat) is a 30-year-old bassist/songwriter from South Central California who is nothing shy of a problem [a good problem]. I’m just a little upset that I am just now figuring it out. Born to Ronald Bruner, Sr., an internationally renowned jazz drummer (The Temptations, Diana Ross, Gary Bartz and Gladys Knight), Thundercat and his Grammy Award winning brother Ronald Bruner, Jr. (Roy Hargrove, Stanley Clarke, and Wayne Shorter) started playing on world tours while they were still in high school.
With jazz roots infused with funk and soul, Thundercat’s sound embodies the entire room and periodically you’ll find yourself captured by the music, unable to move a limb. Then another sound hits your soul and you’re awakened to a groove that takes you so high you just don’t want to ever come down. His third studio album, Drunk, was released earlier this year and features guest appearances from Michael McDonald, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell Williams. Much like Thundercat, the songs are funny and whimsical, but also somber and meaningful. One of my favorite songs is Them Changes because it is just plain old 70’s funk, and the live performance was mesmerizing.
If you’re in Europe and have not gotten your tickets to the show, I highly suggest you make sure you do as soon as you can. The experience is worth every dollar. In the meantime, watch Thundercat perform Them Changes at Pitchfork Nightcap below.
Thundercat European Tour Dates:
03-16 Tel Aviv, Israel – Barby Club
03-17 Istanbul, Turkey – Babylon
03-18 Warsaw, Poland – Niebo Club
03-19 Berlin, Germany – Yaam
03-20 Hamburg, Germany – Mojo
03-21 Cologne, Germany – CBE
03-22 Bristol, England – Thekla
03-23 Manchester, England – Gorilla
03-24 Liverpool, England – Invisible Wind Factory
03-27 Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street
03-28 London, England – Heaven
03-29 Reims, France – La Cartonnerie
03-30 Paris, France – Trabendo
04-01 Fribourg, Switzerland – Fri-son
04-02 Zurich, Switzerland – Theater Moods
04-03 Bratislava, Slovakia – Atelier Babylon
04-04 Vienna, Austria – Porgy & Bess
04-05 Prague, Czech Republic – Lucerna Music Bar
04-07 Rotterdam, the Netherlands – Motel Mozaique Festival
04-08 Utrecht, the Netherlands – Transition Festival
04-09 Brussels, Belgium – BRDCST Festival