Local radio station Hot 92.3 bills itself as the true “Old School” radio station in town. And god bless them for it. I have been feeling my age ever since the music I grew up with gained the title of “Classic Rock” complete with radio stations for us old guys who listen to now “vintage” music. To find music video I find enjoyable I have to search VH1 classic or Palladia. Never mind the fact that the next generation of kids won’t even know what a record store looks like. I was at home at “Old School” night at the Gibson.
Hot 92.3 plays a diverse mix of mostly 70’s funk and R and B and they presented a host of bands last night who all had tremendous radio success and were part of the soundtrack of my childhood and adolescence. Last night featured 6 bands including LTD, The Dazz Band, Klymaxx, The SOS Band, The Ohio Players, closing with the legendary Cameo.
Thanks to the gridlock on the 101, I missed the first two acts and walked in for the end of the Klymaxx set. The band’s flamboyant lead singer hip thrusted and gyrated his way through a funky 40 minute set of tunes, followed by the SOS Band. Each set was short but very tight and the venue was able to break down the stage and move the next act up within 15 mins so the show moved at a nice pace despite the large number of bands. Of all the bands I saw, the SOS band was the tightest and sounded like a band who plays together more regularly. They followed Klymaxx and brought the house down.
Photo gallery after the jump
Up next were the Ohio Players, who were hit making machines back in the day. They opened up with the unmistakable guitar riff of “Rollercoaster”, one of those songs that once you hear it, you say to yourself “Oh yeah I remember that one.” They closed their set with the equally memorable “Fire”. I think the band could have avoided the urge to put on Fireman’s helmets and blare red sirens to introduce the song and just kicked it out, but it was still a fun set.
Make no mistake, most of these guys are no spring chickens. Some of these bands formed as far back as the early 1970’s and it was pretty clear the bands I saw were a handful of original members with heavy back up bands. Still, good stuff with some great musicians on the stage. The Ohio Players Bass Player thumped a mean funk line all night. As a Bass guy myself, that guy blew my mind.
The show was closed out by Cameo. I was hoping that given his advancing age, lead singer Larry Blackmon would have the decency not to wear the signature black chaps and, um, red private part cup he made famous in the 1980’s video for “Word Up!”. But he did it. In all his 60 something years old glory Larry wore the chaps and the cup. The Cameo set was a fun nostalgic trip down memory lane but Blackmon’s voice has betrayed him over the years. His back up musicians were adorned in costume which made the set a bit bizarre, but still a good time.
All and all Hot 92.3 put on a fun, laid back tribute to “Old School” Funk, or as I would call it, real music, (sorry youngsters Hip Hop sucks!) on this Martin Luther King birthday weekend. I could think of no other place I would rather be to bond with some fellow Angelenos giving homage to the man that changed our world with some funky real music that was a soundtrack for our times.
Thanks to the Gibson Amphitheatre, Hot 92.3, and Live Nation.
Hot 92.3 is having another gig next month at the Gibson billed as the “Love Affair” to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Tickets are still available for this show. Details below.
|HOT 92.3 LOVE AFFAIR
Peaches & Herb
Ray, Goodman, & Brown
Skip Mahoney & The Casuals
The SuperbsGibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk
Friday, February 15
Saturday, February 16