Review – Black Pumas

Man oh man, I don’t think I was ready for this show. A fully crowded Summerfest show on the last night!? You love to see it. And there was much to love about this show. The energy, the sound, the ecstatic lead singer, this show was a sight to see. In past years the final show of the Summerfest tend to be modest, and this being a modest Summerfest year it was a welcome treat to be a part of a show that stood out amongst the rest.

The Band

Coming off a grammy performance and 4 grammy nominations Black Pumas is unlike any other band that’s popular at this time. Black Pumas is an American psychedelic soul band based in Austin, Texas, led by singer/songwriter Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada. The group received its first Grammy Award nomination in 2020 for Best New Artist at the 62nd awards.

The classic soul based band draws from popular acts like James Brown back in the 60’s/70’s and does it with 2021 flair. Eric throws his body around the stage, runs through the crowd while singing and taking selfies with fans, and encourages a healthy dose of crowd singing that never overstays its welcome.

The Experience

As previously mentioned, I was not ready for this show. I was expecting a simple rock show and what we were given was so much more. From the get go Black Pumas were there to make sure that everyone was on their feet. The electricity that everyone brought was amazing. Throughout the entirety of the show this energy didn’t slow down once. In between songs and during songs Eric Burton’s energy was through the roof! He addressed the audience constantly, making everyone feel welcomed to be there and still had this excitement that I can describe as the new soul man. Eric fits perfectly on stage and is clearly doing exactly what he was meant to do.

I feel that the show really came together when the hit “Black Moon Rising” came on and people were singing and chanting along with the song. This was added on by Eric making sure that everyone was singing, clapping and swaying to the songs. One of the biggest highlights came in the form of their cover of “Ain’t No Love In The Heard Of The City”. Not the Jay-Z rendition, but the original soul song from Bobby Bland. This was the height of audience participation as well as his time to really get to be with the crowd. Eric took this time to run through the crowd and it was clear he loved every minute of it.

As the show was coming to an end the band showed no signs of slowing down and took their time to perform outstanding solos from guitars, piano and drums. Each one fit perfectly into place into the song and showcased the immense talent of this band. We all knew it was coming but when they played their biggest hit “Colors” as their closing track the crowd went wild. Paired with the incredible lighting they had as well as their logo changing colors throughout the song added to the ambience that will stick in my head for a long time to come.

The Verdict

I hope that Black Pumas will be around for some time to come. They are incredibly different than anything else out there right now, but also so familiar with their roots being drenched in 60’s and 70’s soul music. Eric Burton is one helluva front man and I can’t wait to see them again. If their future music and shows only continue to improve Black Pumas is going to be everywhere in no time.

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