Saturday November 4th... It was obvious from the first note they played that Robert Walter's 20th Congress came to Martyrs' in Chicago with intentions on tearing it up. After announcing that they would be joined by Chicago-local Fareed Haque, the band, led by the funky Hammond B3 stylings of Robert Walter, set the atmosphere for a dance party that grew more intense as the night progressed. The first set was a mix of songs from the 20th Congress' latest release, Money Shot, as well as other RW2C favorites. Fareed Haque, sitting in on guitar, fits in so well that it's surprising that his presence is not a part of the 20th Congress full time! In fact, I overheard many a reveling dancer proclaim their desire that Fareed play with the 20th Congress all the time. The first set was a tight, funky compilation of dance pieces that kept the crowd moving from beginning to end. By the time they announced that they were taking a set break, everyone needed a moment to catch their breath!
As the second set began, the house was full, and ready to move. Robert Walter, the 20th Congress, and Fareed Haque took the stage for another set that made the entire crowd, from the dancers in the front row, to those standing all the way in back, get their groove on. The trade-off of guitar, keyboard, and sax solos between each member fed off one another. The on-stage synergy that was created was best described by a comment made by one of the staff at Martyrs': "These guys are playing like they are in 5th gear the whole time! It's like funk overdrive!"
As the show came to a close, the crowd wasn't ready to leave just yet. Despite the fact it was time to stop, Fareed, Robert Walter, and the 20th Congress played one more to appease the elated crowd. Robert Walter expressed his appreciation for the great turnout, announcing to the crowd "I'd like to thank JamBase for putting this together." We thank Robert Walter's 20th Congress for putting on a show that Chicago will be talking about until the next time this San Diego funk machine makes their way back to the Midwest!
JamBase Presents in Chicago
Photos by Jennifer Stanson
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