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Bernie Worrell & the WOO Warriors

Review 04/04/98 From: Dr.Brookenstein

At The Knitting Factory - New York, NY At 9:30pm, the opening act, BRAD JONES, started their set. The band's name is actually the name of the bassist. The band consisted of the bassist Brad, 2 guitarist, a keyboardist, and a drummer who did some really funny-ass dialogue!! The funniest thing about this drummer (who happens to be African-American) is hearing him try to sound "white"!! This guy is a bad-ass drummer.......I've never seen anyone "have a grand mal seizure" while playing the skins, and make a lot of fucked-up funny faces in the process!!! I only remembered one song from that group, "Funny That Way" and that was a pretty funky number. The group did a mixture of R&B, hardcore rock and reggae. The set was okay, but I was anxious to see the WOO Warriors. BRAD JONES's set ended at 10:30pm. After the set, I ran into the Internet's own Mark Fridman ( from the Trenton area of New Jersey and we talked about the "P" and the upcoming funk shows! At 11:10pm, the WOO Warriors started their set with a li'l shumpin-shumpin' from Bernie Worrell's album "Free Agent", called "Re-Enter Black Light (Entersection). That song lasted for about 10 minutes. The band members were Mike Rubin (setting the roof on fire with his guitar), Greg Fitz ("nasty/soulful" voice with the oozing keyboards), Van Romaine (funky white-boy drummer), B. J. Nelson (Miss Funky-Soul-Voice), Donna McPherson (holding down the base with her smokin' bass), and The Wizard of Woo (casting the spell of WOO on the WOO-fans!). This is the best WOO Warriors show that I ever seen....Bernie was at his most impressive and free-spirited!! The first portion ended at 1:10am, with a 5-minute break before an encore performance that ended at 1:25am. The set listing: Re-Enter Black Light (Entersection) Thank You (For Letting Me Be Myself Again) Red Hot Momma Y-Spy If You Don't Like The Effects, Don't Produce The Cause Straight Ahead Fingers Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication Comin' Round The Mountain Baby I Owe You Something Good Can You Get To That WOO-Lite Cosmic Slop The Mask Smokey ENCORE: Night of The Thumpasorus Peoples HIGHLIGHTS: Like I said, this is the best WOO Warriors show ever! Here is why: The set included a performance of ..........................COSMIC SLOP!!! YES!! FINALLY, MY PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED!!!!!! This show included a wonderful performance of "Cosmic Slop" with Greg Fitz doing the lead vocals, and he is excellent! GREG IS DA SHIT!! IF THAT DIDN'T PUT ME ON _CLOUD NINE_, NOTHING WOULD!!! BUT, WAIT...........THERE'S MORE.... The set also included a performance of ..................SMOKEY!! The song was SMMMOKIN!!!! Again with Greg Fitz doing the lead vocals, and he sounded a little like Glen Goins! The way he started the second verse of the song was hilarious.... he pushed the words "Hoh......holy Smokey baby" out of his mouth like someone hacking with smoker's cough!! He he he!! OH DAMN, I GOTTA GET ANOTHER DOSE OF WOO, BEFORE I GO INTO WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME!! The WOO warriors dropped the "Flashlight" song from the set and just did "WOO-Lite", which was fine with me 'cuz I had my "WOO-Lite" flashing on the WOO. The performance of "Mask" was very unusual. Before kicking into the actual song, Bernie started playing some of his madness and ended with Greg Fitz holding onto a chord for a minute or two while Bernie played a few chords. Then, after each full-blast heavy rock section, Bernie began playing some truly-psychotic shit that can only come from the twisted mind of Dr. Woo! It was like a psychedelic mixture of classical music & jazz. And "Smokey" himself (Greg) left his area (after the last psychotic episode) and began DANCING WITH HIS BACK TO THE CROWD!! All of this madness almost had me in stitches!!!! Mike Rubin and Van Romaine were in FULL effect that night. Their performance was very tight, especially on "Comin' Round The Mountain"..... excellent use of pauses in the very beginning!! The song "Night of the Thumpasorus Peoples" was exceptionally funky. Does anyone agree with me when I say that Bernie's sub-bass keyboard blasts (during the chant section "Ga ga goo ga, ga ga goo ga, ga ga goo ga ga") sound like some old guy passing some serious gas??!!! HA HA HA! DAMN, SUMTHIN' SMELLS FUNKY ON THE WOO-SHIP!! No WOO Warriors show is complete, without some nursery rhyme music from Bernie.......this performance, it was "Row Your Boat" on the melodica and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on the synthesizer.

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by Maxim,