SunSquabi is a three-piece suit, combining the talents of Kevin Donohue (guitars/keys/production) Josh Fairman (bassist/synth) and Chris Anderson (drums). You can hear on their studio and live albums that the three are seasoned musicians. The band self-describes their live show as an ‘Electronic Hydro Funk Experience.’ And how could you not be excited about a show after hearing that. Right before the boys go on stage, the excitement amongst the fans filled the room. A big fan of the band told me the last time he was at this venue, a member of the band Widespread Panic offered him cocaine. It ended up being ketamine, which confirmed to me that I was at a jam band show. But first let’s discuss opener.
Maddy O’Neal opened with a versatile set that displayed her impressive mixing techniques. O’Neal has a niche style that is full of musical diversity. It’s a sound that’s more unique than most in the DJ scene. You can tell that while her set all flowed so smoothly, it was well planned out and organized. Her set was riddled with melodic empowerment. Still, it can transition to a more jazzy hip-hop sound at a moment’s notice. Maddy is surely a music obsessive in her own time, and that only adds to the overall tone to her sets. It was a great way to start an already energetic night.
SunSquabi has gained tons of attention for their unique sound, a well-balanced mix of technical funk and electronic. While they all show off their technical talent, it doesn’t come off as showing off, and there is meaning and soul put into every bass slap. You can hear the development of each song with its rises and climaxes, which reminded me of having to study classical movements in music theory class. The three of them have excellent communication and always silently check on one another with a strong camaraderie that you can just from the accomplished smirks on their faces. The songs are a combination of a lot of sounds and genres, but as they self-described, it is mainly focused on jam-band style funk with electronics mixed in. Donohue’s guitar playing has a unique sound; he’s proficiency is only added by the effects he lays on. And John Fairman does a great job both on the bass and synth, two instruments he commands. It’s good that SunSquabi is headlining because I would imagine they would steal the show from anyone they have ever opened for. The band’s newest album ‘Instinct’ came out in January of 2019. Check that out with their other work, if that sounds good to you or you enjoy good jam band funk and want a fresh take on the sound go out and see SunSquabi.
NOV 7, 2019 – XL Live, Harrisburg, PA
NOV 8, 2019 – 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C.
NOV 9, 2019 – The Woodlands Festival, Charleston, SC
NOV 15, 2019 – The Crystal Bay Club Casino Crown Room, Crystal Bay, NV
NOV 16, 2019 – The Independent, San Francisco, CA
NOV 21, 2019 – Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles, CA
NOV 22, 2019 – NOV 24, 2019 – Wonderfront Music Festival, San Diego, CA
DEC 6, 2019 – Elevation at the Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI
DEC 7, 2019 – Elevation at the Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI
DEC 20, 2019 – Trees, Dallas, TX
DEC 21, 2019 – Empire Control Room, Austin, TX
DEC 27, 2019 – 1904 Music Hall, Jacksonville, FL
DEC 28, 2019 – 1904 Music Hall, Jacksonville, FL
DEC 30, 2019 – Thunderbird Music Hall, Pittsburgh, PA
DEC 31, 2019 – The Rex Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
JAN 3, 2020 – Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, CO
JAN 4, 2020 – Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, CO
FEB 6, 2020 – FEB 9, 2020 – Brainquility Festival, Live Oak, FL
MAR 20, 2020 – The Fillmore Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN