Friday night, the Varsity Theatre was packed with a diverse crowd ranging from college kids to grandparents gathering to watch two New Orleans native bands. From alternative rock to funk jazz, the venue was thrumming with energy from the opening song till the lights went down.
With the opening act’s front man sporting Batman pajama pants, Neutral Snap had the crowd dancing and singing. The band played a mix of songs off their debut album, “Sorry, I Passed Out,” to covers of classics such as “Sail” and “Mr. Brightside.”
Their pure bliss at playing for a crowd before venturing out on their first solo tour was evident, and it shined through their performance. From wild jumps to hair flips, they captivated crowd’s attention throughout the set.
When it came time for Flow Tribe to take the stage, no one was expecting the middle aged men in extravagant clothing. However, any doubt vanished as soon as lead singer K.C. O’Rorke brought out the trumpet.
Flow Tribe rocked the crowd with their original music, occasionally mixing it up with a few reimagined country songs and covers. Their sound was like nothing the crowd had ever experienced before, playing a variety of instruments including maracas, the banjo and even the washboard.
Despite their age, Flow Tribe worked the stage with such energy and electricity that it was impossible to simply listen to them play. Their unique funk sound is as surprising as the band itself and one can’t help but dance along.
The band, which was founded in 2004, has been praised as capturing the soul of New Orleans and has inspired many, including their own opening act.
“It was a dream come true,” Neutral Snap frontman Josh Latham said. “They (Flow Tribe) have inspired us more than they know.”
The up-and-coming band revealed that they have seen the Flow Tribe perform live 30 times.
As the clock struck midnight, O’Rorke invited Latham onstage for one last song, unifying two very distinct bands and their diverse crowd. No matter the age or the band the audience member showed up for, the night was an unforgettable dance party from the opening note to the finale tune.