Thundercat preformed at KEMBA Live! in Columbus Ohio on Wednesday Aug 24. Credit: Justin Volley | For The Lantern
Thundercat graced the Kemba Live! stage Aug. 24 with a performance nothing short of spectacular.
Born Stephen Bruner, Thundercat is well known for his use of the bass guitar and vocals that have attracted listeners from all corners of the music industry. He can be heard on records by artists and groups — Kendrick Lamar, Silk Sonic and Mac Miller — according to his Spotify page. As a solo artist, he combines elements of soul, jazz and funk and has produced critically acclaimed records, such as “Drunk” and “It is What It Is,” the latter of which won a Grammy in 2021.
With a stage full of lights and a retro-style stage setup, Thundercat’s music told the story of how he understands and is influenced by music. Thundercat delivered an amazing performance both vocally and instrumentally, making the experience memorable and enjoyable for all concert-goers. He captivated audiences, and very few people were looking at their phones except to hit record. His music combines an appreciation for a retro 1980s style whilst also adding a unique and futuristic sound to listeners.
Throughout the show, he played fan favorites from “Dragonball Durag ” to “Them Changes,” which gave a balance to the audience and a sense of familiarity. With many references to popular anime, such as “Dragon Balll Z,” “Naruto” and “My Hero Academia,” Thundercat gave a look into what inspired his creative process over the last few years.
Last year, Thundercat was given the chance to create a theme song for a Netflix original anime “Yasuke.” The song, titled “Black Gold,” was incredible to hear live with the variety of instruments that takes listeners into a whole new Japanese-style world. Shortly after he created the song, he got his first acting gig in “The Book of Boba Fett” — the new Star Wars series on Disney+. He appears in “Chapter 4: The Gathering Storm” as a body modification artist known as The Modifier.
“What more is there to do after acting in Star Wars?” Thundercat said to the crowd in the midst of the show.
Simply put, if you were expecting an “old fashioned jazz night,” this was not it. His show and sound may be somewhat unfamiliar to audiences, but after listening for a short amount of time, the atmosphere, music and overall vibe allow for a new experience and the chance to see Thundercat pioneer a new kind of music.
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