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Vulfpeck – Live Performance Review

Funk lovers came together last weekend to join Vulfpeck for a sold out performance at Madison Square Garden, and the band did not disappoint. 

These guys take funk to a completely new level by incorporating theatrical qualities and major diversity with each song. In addition to this, the band travels with multiple special guest performers that are always bringing something exciting to the table. Vulfpeck’s MSG gig was especially poignant for the group, as they have been climbing their way up through NYC since the mid 2010s. While the band started off at small venues like Terminal 5 and The Kings Theatre, they finally achieved a life-long goal this year by making it to the city’s biggest and most famous venue.

In order to make sure that the funk-rhythm group had a comfortable performance at the large venue, they brought all original furniture from their house in Ann Arbor, where they got their start back in 2011, creating an exact replica of their college living room. To prepare for their show the band wanted to ensure that their audience was also relaxed and ready, so Jack Stratton’s mother took the stage to lead a 14,000-plus audience in a guided meditation. They know how to put on quite an interactive show. Along with yoga, the band broke up the arena’s audience and created a full on choir, assigning each section to tackle a different harmony, to help sing background vocals for their most popular song “Back Pocket.” They take the concert experience to a completely new level.

Vulfpeck has always been extremely loyal to their fans. Back in 2014 the band put a silent album out on spotify and encouraged fans to play it when they sleep. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like, an album that is completely silent. They did this in order to find out where the majority of their listeners were located and took the profits from the album to fund an admission-free tour and travel to large fan bases, the main one being Ann Arbor. The only advertising that Vulfpeck did for the MSG show was on their instagram with 267k followers and kept ticket sales pretty affordable. Within two and a half months, The Garden was completely booked. 

The band’s most recent LP Hill Climber came out in December of 2018. There was a surprising lack of songs played from their newest album, however, I have absolutely no complaints about the band’s performance. Vulfpeck is absolutely a must see band, with their high energy songs, great sense of humor, and fun performance banter, they know how to keep the audience moving. Thanks for keeping funk alive Vulf! 

Review By: Kirsten Maiwaldt