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Bob McPhail 8:30 a.m., Aug. 17
If, on an off chance, you're wondering what the love spawn of James Brown and Janis Joplin would look like, check out the Styletones. Headed up by the charisma of the slippery-footed Steve Harris, the San Diego R&B/funk/soul combo had the crowd bouncing by the second bar with standard, upbeat funk fare.
The first set was good, but unspectacular — sounds were off-balance with a lot of overshadowing going on, the energy seemed to dip by the third piece, and the vocals were making my own throat feel raw. But there were some ethereal psychedelic moments, and the patient sensuality of “Roll All Night” made me wish those cashmere vocals had rolled a little longer.
The Styletones hit their stride in the second set with ear-burning, chest-clenching solos on sax, trumpet, and trombone. A haunting, jazzy rendition of “Frere Jacques” introduced the climactic instrumental “Who's Gonna Carry the Weight?” and it was all sweet cuddles and pillow-talk on a bed of thumping base and virtuosic organ thereafter.
Words of advice: Wardrobe coordination. Pinstripes. No yawning. Take more risks. Eyes are the windows to the soul. Lose the curtains.
Concert: the Styletones
Date: February 17
Venue: Bar Pink