Written by Rob Harvilla, published in Village Voice, August 11, 2010
Fort Greene Park, NYC
Tuesday, August 10
Can't believe it's taken me this long to experience an unironic keytar solo. "You know we came to kill this motherfucker for you today!" DâM-FunK announces, and after wailing on that thing for 90 seconds or so you are inclined to believe him. Meanwhile, a concerned-looking woman hurriedly shuffles three children out of the front row, which means they aren't around an hour or so later when our star attraction jumps into the crowd and gives us a chance to lean into the mic and scream, "It's my life, I do what I want!" Too bad.
I don't think this guy actually writes lyrics. Everything tonight seems to improvised expressly for our benefit: "I don't give a fuck what Lindsay Lohan does! Look at yourself sometime! Mirrors!" "You got to know by now that we came to Brooklyn to funk you tonight!" "Don't wanna hit you over the head with no bullshit tonight!" "You're out in the park! You're havin' a good time! You made it another summer!" And so on. At one point someone rather artlessly whips a clump of fliers at the stage; Mr. FunK gamely picks one up and starts freestyle-rapping its contents: "Music by DJ Hard Hittin' Harry and a bunch of other dudes, too! I wanna show you I ain't no hater! Keep the G Code up in this bitch, y'all!"
Meanwhile, near-pornographic, synth-drenched, luxuriantly lascivious vintage funk ("Rest in peace to Roger Troutman, y'all!") is filling every corner of Fort Greene Park (tiny stage, though, right at the bottom of a hill, so with a good running start you could probably tumble right onto it), every single snare hit reverberating like a brick dropped from a helicopter onto a tin roof. Both the drummer and auxiliary synth player get solos; a fourth gentleman mans entirely inaudible percussion instruments, including (yes) the triangle. A female vocalist shows up for one song, and you can't hear her, either. Whole thing is kind of ridiculous, definitely regressive, improbably life-affirming. For the climax Mr. FunK leaps into the audience and invites multiple citizens to affirm that it's their life and they do what they want. I want to go to shows in this park all the time. I want him to play them.
More photos at Village Voice