When concertgoers strolled up to the Blind Pig on September 22,
it was obvious an event of momentous proportions was about to
ensue. It might have been the group of Music For America volunteers
pacing up and down the line of people awaiting the show that
triggered the excited eyes, but most likely it was the giant
40-foot recreational vehicle parked on the curb in front of the
entrance to the venue that inspired such enthusiasm.

And enthusiastic they should have been, as that night, Ann
Arborites were privy to a performance by Soulive, a trio of
musicians that melds jazz, funk, and soul together into a genre of
music that needs no name.

The electricity buzzed from one speaker to the next as fans
clambered past the admittance counter and the merchandise tables,
where eyes casually glanced at the table at the end of the line.
The table itself was short a leg on one side and closed into tight
quarters with the sound booth, but nevertheless was an active force
during the opener’s set. It was the MFA booth, and were just
as excited about getting people involved in government issues as
they were in enjoying a night of auditory delight.

In a move to create progressive political change by way of the
arts, the MFA organization invited Soulive to play at the show to
get the message out about the upcoming vote.

But when the lights turned low and Eric Krasno on the lead
guitar, Alan Evans on the drums and brother Neal on the organ,
hopped onto the stage, nothing but their funkified beat was the
focus of the evening. At every turn, Krasno showcased his talent
with improvised guitar solos that had the entire audience drooling
from the corners of their mouths. It was Neal Evans on the organs,
though, that inevitably took control of the show. His skills on the
organs sustained the momentum and punched out the climax of a
majority of the songs.

With a trumpet and saxophone to fill out the 1950s jazz club
sound that Soulive revisits with each live performance, the band
indulged the audience with a few oldies from more recent times,
James Brown “Sex Machine” and Jimi Hendrix’s
“Cross-town Traffic.” Both songs sizzled with new
energy.

“Wednesday’s Soulive show was a blast,”
University student Zach Warlick commented.

Warlick’s fellow concertgoer, Kirk Whitelaw, added,
“Based on what I’ve heard of their material, I was
expecting a mellow set, but they rocked pretty hard and the crowd
seemed to be feeling it.  My favorite part of the set was when
they played James Brown’s, ‘Sex Machine.’  I
also thought the addition of the sax and trumpet was really cool.
 Those guys could really wail.” 

But in addition to a beautiful night of groovin’, that
little wooden table squished behind the sound tables, where MFA sat
diligently by, can’t make their voice heard. In fact, more
than 70 people signed up on the organization’s e-mail list,
of which the majority wrote that they would like to be volunteers.
Tyler Price of Ypsilanti even got the materials needed to register
to vote. “It’s the perfect place to get people
involved,” he said. “These are the kind of people that
might be not so sure if they’re going to vote.

Kathryn Russel, a Wayne State student, expressed her opinion as
to whether the show was a success, “Definitely, people put
their names down, they’re gonna either be called or get
e-mails and whatnot, they’re gonna at least be informed of
the organization and that’s half of what you work
for.”

She added, “I think it’s a good target audience. If
you’re trying to look for a progressive vote, why not find it
at fun shows such as Soulive.”

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