The Nightowls ratcheted up the DC heat with an fun, energetic set at Gypsy Sally’s.
Kicking off their summer tour with DC as the backdrop for their second stop on July 5th, The Nightowls are touring for the brightly funky and aptly titled new album, We Are The Nightowls.
The Nightowls are a funk and soul band that came ‘all the way from the Lone Star state, the live music capital of the world!’ (specifically they are from Austin, Texas). The band boasts a big cast of characters, nine in total for our time with them at the friendly Gypsy Sally’s, although their promotional flyer hints at more members.
The lead singer is Ryan Harkrider, who croons with a smooth, falsetto voice. He’s complemented by two female back-up vocalists and dancers (Sara Stein and Kamilla Lamar), a 3-man brass section (saxophone, trumpet and trombone), a drummer, a guitarist and a bass player.
They kicked off the evening with “Can’t Wait Tonight” and as they hit their groove in the early songs (including a coordinated dance routine), it was clear they had a strong brass game, along with every other element of their well-honed act. The set lasted 18 songs and at one point Ryan gave props to the ‘brave people breaking the ice on the dance floor’, and from my perfect vantage point directly center stage in the raised seated section, the handful of dancers were indeed brave, not just anyone would bust out their funk rhythm challenged moves for all to admire.
They gave their new album a good workout, but they also threw in The Beatles cover “Come Together”, where each member got a turn to sing a verse of the kooky lyrics*, until they came to the horns, to which they cleverly in turn played the melody of their verse.
Midway through they performed the new “Don’t It Feel Weird (Falling In Love)”, about falling in love with the same person twice. This after Ryan asked if anyone in the seated section has ever been in love, and when no one was brave enough to shout it to the world, he quipped that we were weird.
At the end of the set, the penultimate song “Get Funked Up”, told us ‘if you like it funky, we’re gonna get funked up’, but it was a moot point, since we were already sold on The Nightowls, and solidly funked up.
They ended the fine evening with the super energy, dancetastic “Right Around The Corner”, which gave off hints of a Wham! song. The brave souls on the dance floor were not to be denied their crowning glory.
Pick up a copy of We Are The Nightowls, and be on the lookout for the next time they funk up DC.
Can’t Wait Tonight
Don’t It Feel Weird (Falling In Love)
Lift Me Up
Come Together (The Beatles cover)
Get Funked Up
Right Around The Corner
*Editor’s Note: “Come Together” is one of my favorite songs by The Beatles, but it doesn’t mean my joo joo eyeballs get the drift.