Breakestra: The Most Fun You Can Have


Great American Music Hall

San Francisco, CA

July 26, 2008

Breakestra: The Most Fun You Can Have With Your Clothes On

It doesn’t get any funkier than the funkiest funked-up band coming to the funkiest club in San Francisco on a funky Saturday night. There is no one currently funkier than Breakestra- not since the late-great Godfather of Soul (that’s James Brown) and his legendary ensemble, the JBs, kicked up the funk. Breakestra is Old School. Mashed potatoes. Reel to Reel. Laying it down and dancing all over it with platform lesbian-crocs. Afros, gold chains, bellbottoms. This was a super-funktacular show! Breakestra rocks!

The Down Beat

From the drop of the first down-beat, Breakestra never stopped. The band took the stage and boogied continuously for close to an hour before the first break, more of a pause really. Barely enough time to catch your breath. It’s hard not to start bobbing your head, snapping your fingers, shuffling your feet when Breakestra hits the down beat, the winding thumping base line, a splash of Hammond organ and the syncopated guitar riffs.

Breakestra doesn't combine funk to metal, a la Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour or Fishbone; they aren’t funk-inspired, like The Black Eyed Peas or Outkast; they don’t do jazz-funk a la today’s acid-jazz pretenders; nor do they sample funk to spice up some bland, uninspired hip-hop. This is hard-core, underground, down and dirty funk like the glorious days of funk’s climax when a down beat meant something, man. When it was real. When the funk was The Funk and the dream was still alive. It's all about the beat. The music might be old school but this is not your Granddad’s funk. It’s living, breathing, roaring, reckless abandon.

Funk may be a distinctly American musical invention but Breakesta is out to proselytize the good word. They are the musical legatees of James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, The Meters, the Mohawks. Weird thing is they’re all white (but one). No matter, they can still get down. The band has had many players come and go but hopefully they have settled on the current line-up which are all stellar at what they do.


And there is no funkier venue than the former bordello that is the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco- next door to the famous Mitchell Brothers Adult Theater. The GAMH is known for its decorative balconies, columns, and frescoes and red walls. All of which added to the celebration of the gritty urban sound that is Breakestra. The perfect meld of venue and artist.

Breakesta is from Los Angeles but haven’t been to the Bay Area for two years and this was their first shot at rocking the GAMH. Hopefully, they’ll be back again real soon for more merciless, floor-stomping, take-no-prisoners good times.

Tunes to Check Out: Take My Time, Family Rap - which can be previewed on the band’s MySpace page at Breakestra's My Space Page.

Or check out Getcho Soul Together on YouTube here.