Photos – Thundercat at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Sept 10 2017.
– words by Mack Stannard/photos by Pavel Boiko
Thundercat at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, on Sunday night. The critically acclaimed bassist and singer/songwriter came to promote his third solo album, titled Drunk.
Stephen Brunner, or Thundercat, has played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eryka Badu, Mac Miller, and other notable artists. He got his start on the bass at a young age and began his career playing with a few boy bands before really finding his stride with producer Flying Lotus. Brunner has performed bass on a number of Flying Lotus recordings. Flying Lotus has returned the favour by producing Brunner’s albums.
The Thundercat act really took off after Brunner received critical acclimation for his work with Kendrick Lamar. Rolling Stone writer Jeff Weiss claims Brunner was “at the creative epicenter” of Lamar’s breakthrough album To Pimp a Butterfly. Brunner won a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for his work on the Butterfly track song “These Walls”.
Thundercat’s music is characterized by colliding genres. Bass heavy, his music dances between funk, punk, R&B, soul, and ska. Over top of this musical cornucopia, Brunner adds his smooth falsetto voice.
Pitchfork calls Drunk “whimsical and somber, funny and meaningful, sometimes all at once. Drunk’s oddball soul confronts the challenge of just trying to live life.”