Arts

Thundercat baffles and excites at the Majestic

Thundercat gives an entertaining yet strange performance at the Majestic Theater on Tuesday.

Image By: Mara Matovich

To put it simply, Los Angeles bassist Thundercat is a bizarre human being. From his lyrics to his clothes, he is the embodiment of embracing the unconventional. His Tuesday night show at the Majestic Theater proved his wonky antics would translate to a truly unusual show.

Preceding Thundercat was techno-funk producer Saco & Uno. Combining noisy percussion with funk-inspired synths and bass, Saco & Uno began his set with what seemed to be a promising combination of instrumentals. However, as the set progressed, his songs bled together into a monotonous mess overwhelmed by experimental noise and feedback.

Typically, an opener’s job is to excite the audience for the headliner. Saco & Uno seemed to do the exact opposite. By the time Thundercat emerged on stage, the crowd seemed dead.

The opening track, “Rabbot Ho,” was the beginning of a set as confusing and scattered as a freshly unboxed 1000-piece puzzle. Filled with highlights from his work with Kendrick Lamar as well as his solo efforts, the set really was a trip down the rabbit hole.

Keeping in line with the theme of obscurity for the night, Thundercat continued his set with a succession of lyrically-outlandish tracks from his latest album, Drunk.

Unbelievably talented, Thundercat’s show should have been filled with uncontrollable dancing and yelling in the audience. Instead, there was silence and stillness. During nearly every song, the whole crowd — with the exception of a few clusters of intoxicated fans — was emotionless. Thundercat’s hyper-speed bass playing apparently wasn’t enough to get the sold-out Majestic Theater rocking with him.

In addition to a slew of songs from his solo projects, Thundercat also took the time to show off his dexterity by setting out on multi-minute jam sessions with the other musicians accompanying him on stage. At times, Thundercat was completely out of sync with the others. Then, miraculously, they combined flawlessly for mind-boggling arrangements of funk-infused bass, drums and synths.

The peculiar part about the entire show really was the audience’s reactions, or lack thereof. While watching the incredible showmanship, there was no emotion in the crowd. Then, as if signaled to applaud by a cue card, the crowd would erupt into a frenzy when each song or jam session reached a conclusion.

Several songs into the performance, Thundercat paused the show and asked, “How many of you guys are cat people? How many of you sing songs to them?”

“I love my cat. I miss her everyday,” he said before launching into a rendition of “A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song II)” — the song known by most Thundercat songs as the “cat song.” Then, the crowd began meowing in unison — a phenomenon only experienceable at a Thundercat concert.

Entertaining, confusing and all around strange, Thundercat proved that he really was “out here, probably doing the most.”

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