It’s widely known that the live concert experience is rapidly becoming the most suitable method for musicians to not only make money, but to connect with existing fans and to make new fans. Consequently, new, on the rise artists are presented with increasingly better and more diverse opportunities to tour and perform live.
The huge rise in the number of music festivals is one such avenue for an up-and-coming band to showcase their talents. Additionally, residencies at local venues have become more popular. Another great approach is to go on tour with an established act, opening for them at each stop and putting your music in front of eyes and ears that have not yet heard your sound.
But what about when two budding talents with mutual respect choose to tour together? Such is the case of Earphunk and Zoogma, who both blew my socks off at the Austin, TX, stop of their What the Phunk is Zoogma tour this past Saturday night.
Zoogma is a four-piece group from Mississippi that I can’t really categorize sonically. They just jam, man. They’re funky, soulful, rock hard, and create a dance party on site. Earphunk is a five man crew from New Orleans, and I honestly just need to repeat that last sentence for them as well. Both groups specialize in getting a place rockin’.
The very name of the tour suggests that these two incredibly talented acts know how to poke fun at their totally badass touring model. Zoogma performed first on Saturday night, but in no way would I consider them an “opener.” The Belmont was already packed by the time they came on, and for good reason. I would be surprised if any texts along these lines were sent that night: “bro wtf is zoogma im jus tryna see earphunk already.”
Both bands brought the funk, the soul, the dance, the lights, and the ruckus, in equal parts. Earphunk was a perfect extension of the flavorful foundation that Zoogma had laid prior. I’m not sure if these bands have been hanging out with each other when they’re not performing, but it sure seems like it. The show had a real chemistry to it, an intangible continuation of vibation that gave it a complete, well-rounded feel at the end of the night — as if we all won because they both won.
As my head nodded, my feet tapped, and the ethereal glow of Austin’s Frost Bank illuminated the night sky behind the stage, I found myself thinking, “every god damn up-and-coming band needs to do this shit.” Because when two fresh and new bands play off of each other’s sounds, both as necessary to the ambience of the night as the other, the fans have no choice but to want to check them both out.
Earphunk’s lead guitarist, Paul Provosty, had a smile on his face the entire night, as if he knew that the What the Phunk is Zoogma tour was the best idea ever. Both Zoogma and Earphunk are on the brink, poised for stardom. If the universe agrees with me, then hopefully by next year I’ll be able to catch the We Still Don’t Know What the Phunk a Zoogma is tour, this time with the company of twice as many show-goers.
Check out some clips from the show below, the first of which is Zoogma performing a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as their closer, and the second of which is Earphunk performing Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name” as their encore. (Sidenote: both bands have plenty of original material, but I think the JamFeed clan was too busy vibing to remember to record it.)