Saturday Night we made the trip down to Jamestown, NY to see Funktional Flow at Mojo’s. This little bar on 2nd street in the heart of Jamestown has quite the cool little scene going on. Mojo’s has great sound, awesome lights and a perfect welcoming atmosphere for music lovers. This show was scheduled for 2 sets, the first Funktional Flow has done in quite some time, as they have been playing on a lot of split bills as of late. Although it’s no complaint, because they have been sharing the stage with some really amazing local bands like Slip Madigan, The MKG’s, Universe Shark and Peanut Brittle Satellite, as well as some really great acts from across the country like Smooth Money Gesture out of Nederland, CO, and theCAUSE out of Pittsburgh, PA. The first set, Flow broke out a few rarities like Arabic Spice and Spooky, the first is an awesome, almost mexican sounding instrumental jam, featuring guitarist Jeff Kuebler adding a killer solo at the end. The latter, a Classics IV cover, with a real late 60’s sound to it, led by guitarist/singer Jason Staniszewski who added a really cool spacey solo toward the end, with the rhythm section really holding down the groove. In that set, we also saw other covers like Son Seals’ ripping guitar classic “Funky Bitch,” the Beatles “Norwegian Wood,” trance style, led mostly by RJ Acanfora on the main drum kit, and bassist Ben Whelan, segueing into an absolutely amazing take on Pink Floyd’s “Run Like Hell.” “Run Like Hell” featured a completely improvised jam, seeing the band firing on all cylinders. Guitarist Jeff Kuebler led the improvised jam with an almost hypnotic solo, with RJ Acanfora, an absolute freight train on drums, before returning to “RLH” to finish the set. The 1st set also saw Flow staples like the set starter, “Elephant,” a killer “Teleportation,” featuring an awesome “Streets of Cairo” jam to end it, and the familiar first Kuebler notes of “Moonlight Mile,” followed by the signature Whelan bass line, an awesome version, showcasing the fullness of the percussion team of Jim Edgar and now, RJ Acanfora.
Set 2 brought out the real heat, as if the first set didn’t already melt us. Guitarist Jason Staniszewski started the set off, leading the band through a killer take on the Grateful Dead’s “Althea,” featuring some outstanding solos by Staniszewski. That was followed by Kuebler led reggae Flow original “Mulligans,” which saw the band performing like a well oiled machine, as they transformed the tune from a great Kuebler guitar solo, into an unbelievable raging dance jam with dueling guitar solos. The rhythm section really kicked it into full blast with bassist Ben Whelan dropping bombs and Edgar/Acanfora playing so well off each other. Next after Flow regular “Downtown,” they played the first of two requests that night, for my 27th Birthday, “Stuck In The Middle.” I asked them to play it because I feel it isn’t broken out regularly enough, and the end dance jam is unbridled madness. This version was no different, featuring a Kuebler led raging jam that had the bar screaming out after the madness has subsided. Proving my point that this song has so much life left in it! After that we saw a “Mothman Chant” sandwich, with “Ocean’s In The Sky” in between led by guitarist Jason Staniszewski, then handed off to Kuebler for a killer solo before heading back into “Mothman.” “Gunther the Sabertooth” was next, a older song that, while played alot, gains more life each time out, with great guitar play between Kuebler and Staniszewski and drummer Jim Edgar holding the whole thing together tight. Raging flow regular “Path Train” next, followed by Talking Heads “Making Flippy Floppy,” driven by Whelans bass, with Acanfora again taking over on the main drum kit. That was followed up by an intense, long form, jungle sounding drum solo by Acanfora and Edgar on percussion, which segued flawlessly into Kuebler led, Irish drinking tune “Jack,” featuring a ripping extended jam to finish it. Next saw the second of my birthday requests fulfilled, with the guys taking the time the past week to learn my favorite song of all time, Bob Dylan’s Classic “All Along The Watchtower,” again led by Kuebler, before guitarist Jason Staniszewski took over, shredded the solo during an epic end jam, an absolute goosebumps moment that I will remember for the rest of my life! Flow rounded out the second set with with reggae original “Ambush,” originally slated for the first set. The Encore saw people coming from the back of the bar to dance up front, during a great “Puzzle Piece,” and another fan favorite, “Leaving Town,” with Kuebler giving everything he had left, during an amazing guitar solo to end the song, and show. This show was another absolute smoker and Funktional Flow is on a roll that can not be stopped! Huge thanks to the guys for this amazing show, and the awesome surprises for my birthday! Funktional Flow plays their next show, Late Night at Mama J’s 50th Birthday Jam Festival in West Valley, NY.