The stage at a sold-out Trees on Sunday night proved to be the perfect fit for Thundercat to perform: large enough to accommodate the big sounds from the stage but intimate enough for the more informal, modern lyrics.
This weekend’s Dallas show was Stephen Bruner and company’s final one of the North American leg of their worldwide tour in support of widely critically acclaimed album Drunk.
Drunk is a fantastic, smart album that fuses elements of jazz, R&B and soul with quirky whimsical writing. The album revolves around escapism and heartbreak, but in a live setting the album takes on a life of its own. Bruner improvises and wonderfully draws out songs like “Captain Stupido,” “Uh Uh” and “A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song II.)”
It’s difficult to glean much emotion out of Bruner, who is rather reserved. He said little to the crowd beyond “I love you guys!” and “the friend zone sucks.” There was however plenty of head bobbing from the bassist, but during the 90 minute he probably didn’t move beyond one square foot.
Bruner has been heralded as a musical prodigy and bass virtuoso, with his skills on display when he joined the metal-thrash band Suicidal Tendencies while in high school. He worked as a session musician for Erykah Badu and collaborated with Flying Lotus. He eventually signed with Brainfeeder label, and since then he’s co-produced albums for artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, and Mac Miller.
As an artist who’s been the favorite musician of musicians for years now, it was rewarding to witness Thundercat have his moment in 2017 and see him being treated like the headliner that this tour he proved he can be.
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