Lettuce, the self-proclaimed “modern day rulers of old school funk,” sold out the Music Farm with Break Science this past weekend. The last time I saw this sick duo from Brooklyn, New York, was at Bear Creek Music Festival in Sewanee, Florida, a couple months ago. Man, these guys show no signs of slowing and ooze energetic vibes wherever they choose to spread their wonderful tunes.
I’ve commented previously on how much I dig the phenomenon of horns and brass instruments being increasingly incorporated in EDM. Well, these guys do it right. First, Break Science (signed under Pretty Lights Music Label) broke the crowd in and loosened them up with an opening set consisting of a little hip-hop, some electronic, and, of course, some good ol’ trap music. Lettuce’s drummer and chief songwriter Adam Deitch teamed with keyboardist Borahm Lee, and they've been hitting up festivals and venues coast to coast. Since forming Break Science as a side project, they have been touring with Lettuce on the Funk Odyssey Tour. They’ve developed a happy medium where the different types of music can play off each other and Deitch can mess around experimenting with going back-and-forth between the two distinct sounds of both ensembles. Ryan Zoidis and Eric Bloom had their own special dynamic going on between the saxophone and trumpet. These boys really know how jazz things up and make those horns screech! They have truly evolved and refocused in such a way that their music is developed, layered, and completely original. It’s the kind of music you would expect to hear in a movie that’s set in the sixties, but with a recognizable modern flare. I don’t think they took one break during their two-hour set. Without ever dropping the beat, they just keep on going like the Energizer Bunny.
The band brought sassy singer Alecia Chakour in for a few songs, and she added the soul when she came out onstage and belted it from her gut. That girl can sing. Her voice just has a purity to it that sends shivers down your spine. Hers was by far the most powerful vocal of the night. I can't forget about Neal Evans on the organ/keys. A member of the iconic trio Soulive, this guy was an attention grabber, pounding away on the keys and jamming out on the organ. I’m not surprised that he’s opened for big names like the Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder.
This young funk ensemble seemed to impress even the most withdrawn of listeners at the Music Farm. Moving from jam to jam, banger to banger, this band consistently raises the bar with their infectious funky sound. By the end, Lettuce had the whole venue hooting and hollering for their new, edgy approach to funk. The synesthesis of killer drums, powerful vocals, and groovy bass lines, as well as a cherry of a light show on top—Lettuce needs to let us hear some more. Also, I can’t wait to catch Break Science Live Band again at Aura Music & Art Festival, March 6–9!