Words by James Farrell
What last Wednesday’s modest crowd at the Brooklyn Bowl lacked in size, it made up for in enthusiasm. And thank God for that, because a little enthusiasm was all that the funk/soul group Orgone needed to take a masterful hold on all the energy in the room. The result? A soulful showcase of tight musicianship, genuine emotion, and everything from laid-back grooves to straight-up rock-and-roll.
Orgone’s touring band consists of horns (Darren Cardoza and Devin Williams), drums (Sam Halterman), percussion (Chuck Prada), guitar (Sergio Rios), bass (Tim Glum), and keyboard (Dan Hastie). As a unit, the band operated at a consistently high level of cohesiveness, which was particularly expressed through perfectly executed stops and tight, sudden endings. These little, yet jarringly impressive moments of coordination were where Orgone shined the most.
On an individual level, no one member of the band shined brighter than vocalist Adryon de Leon. Beyond her incredible talent, on full display in songs such as “Strike,” “Don’t Stop,” and “Anticipating,” de Lyon radiated with authentic excitement and joy. Her overt appreciation for the crowd’s enthusiasm helped forge a genuinely celebratory space of friendship between artist and observer. Overall, de Leon succeeded in giving the audience a sense of value, and her scattered appearances on stage garnered loud cheers without fail.
Individually, the members of Orgone all possessed clear talent, but again, their unique strengths as musicians were best exemplified in their work as a unit. Guitar player Sergio Rios, for instance, who seemed to orchestrate much of the band’s instrumental work, played a handful of well-layered solos throughout the night. These were much appreciated, but often a bit tame, and I left the show buzzing about his energetic leadership as opposed to his moments in the spotlight.
While Orgone focused on producing tight, laid-back jams for most of the night, they allowed themselves to loosen up at the right moments by adding the controlled chaos of rock and roll. On a handful of occasions, the band’s orchestration dissolved into heavy guitar riffs, looser drumming, and raw energy.
Towards the end of their set, the band worked in a few notable moments of spontaneity. A definite highlight of the night was the surprise trombone duel orchestrated by de Lyon. Opening band Ikebe Shakedown’s Nadav Nirenberg joined Darren Cardoza in an explosive call-and-response sequence that elicited some of the loudest cheers of the night.
Shortly after, during the encore, percussionist Chuck Prada entertained the crowd with a somehow unbelievably impressive tambourine solo. I can honestly say that it was the longest I’ve ever watched anyone play the tambourine unaccompanied without wanting to look away.
The most consistent aspect of Orgone’s show was the sense that they were throwing a party, and we, their audience, were their guests of honor. The band’s humility and deep appreciation for their art alone make them worth seeing, but the fact that they can compete with anyone else in their genre doesn’t hurt either.
TheWaster.com | BK