Concert Review + Photos: Jungle and Beat Connection @ Lee’s Palace

Jungle

I’m always bummed out (as a 9-5er) when a band of the genre “dance your ass off”, plays on a Sunday night. Luckily, Beat Connection and Jungle were so good, it was impossible not to get lost in the music, it took over our bodies and we got lost in an awkward, none of us really know what we’re doing, dance marathon.

Beat Connection started as a 2 piece instrumental, then switched it up, adding 2 more members including guitarist and vocalist Tom Eddy. I saw them once, right after the additions, and they were good, but still finding their footing. Since then, they’ve come together, unified and tight, completely comfortable together. Playing to a still filling up venue, as if it were a sold out show at a much larger venue, those of us on the floor at Lee’s were already warming it up, dancing along to awesome tracks like Think/Feel, and The Palace Garden 4am, as we awaited Jungle.

Jungle has had a brilliant publicity/marketing plan. Refusing to show their faces or release any promo shot of themselves before they began playing live, everyone was speculating what the band looked like, how many of them were there, etc. They released singles and videos along with them, which never showed the bands, but instead featured massively awesome choreography and break-dancing routines by different troupes. Jungle’s brand of old soul and funk is comparable to Aussie Chet Faker, but their music is created as a 5 piece. Bassist, drummer, amazing female back-up vocalist and two front-men who both play synth, sing in unison and alternate lead guitar.

They packed and almost sold out Lee’s, even before their full length was released, but I guess with downloading, that’s not a huge surprise. I am a proud Rdio user and can happily say I actually now wait for record release day, so hadn’t heard anything other than the singles.

Still not wanting to show their faces completely, leaving us to focus more on the music, the warm yellow light came from behind, giving us the shadowy outlines of the band, but never a fully clear picture. It didn’t matter. As they took us through Busy Earnin’, The Heat, Platoon and more, flawlessly dancing, laughing and playing, we were caught in the energy, possessed by it, and I couldn’t stop moving my feet wishing desperately that I could learn the routines in their videos, and knowing I’ll never be near as cool as the 7 year old bad-ass in the Platoon video.

When Jungle returns in October to the Danforth Music Hall, no doubt to a sold out crowd, I hope I can proudly display some clumsy dance moves again.

Jungle

Beat Connection

Get updates from Jungle on their website here.

Photos by Benjamin Telford (@bentelfordphoto) | Review by Lauren Morocco ()

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