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Where There’s Thunder, There’s Funk: Gang of Thieves release a new album

article by John Powell
photography by Julia Luckett

For Gang of Thieves, an album release party focuses on the “party” aspect of things. Ready to rage at Arts Riot, a newer venue in Burlington, VT- the band’s home state- GoT fans fill the room on a weeknight. The band is showcasing Thunderfunk, their third and most ambitious record.

Becoming seasoned by heavy touring, the band that started as young punksters trying on a sound has become primo rock stars. Lead singer Mike Reit has stepped up beyond just vocals to full-on MC. His ability to motivate the crowd is matched by that of his band mates, and the concert met full on success because of stage presence.

Mike, Tobin Salas, and Nick Wood make up the original cast, now with drummer Deven Massarone and guitarist Leonard Sokol on guitar. They crushed versions of “Sexy Star Circus” and “Cocoa Mocha”, joined throughout by the Thunderfunk horns, including Nate Reit, Kevin Avery, Jake Whitesell, and on “Rise” by Mike’s dad, Peter, on French horn. In fact, “Rise” stole the show with its soul and lightness.

Of course, beyond the music, the band has cultivated a following of loyal listeners. Deeply connected with their community, it’s clear that many came out solely to see what would happen next, confident in the band’s ability to rock covers and rework originals.

The band’s continuous live highlight is Nick, whose guitar playing, which stemmed during their self-titled album as deliciously derivative of the likes of John Frusciante and even Hendrix, now has a style all his own. His solos mark a great GoT show, melting faces each time.

Such energy and proactive rocking is not reserved for an album release show, however. This is the standard for the Gang. Now with a new set of fun songs that react to a crowd like dynamite to a match, this show marked the next chapter of a musical takeover.

Setlist

  • Frankenstein Jam
  • Thunderfunk
  • Come Together
  • Cobble Mountain Critter
  • Sexy Star Circus
  • Stevie Medley
  • Fried Eggs/Lost and Found
  • Ambition
  • King in Deed
  • Dharma Dojo
  • Soul Child
  • Sould The Chili Jam
  • Bassman
  • Dinosaur Sandwich Party
  • Cocoa Mocha
  • Landmines
  • Rise
  • Gunsling
  • Stone Cold Crazy
  • ER

 

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