The band
Herbie Hancock Nite @ Queen St. Fare did not disappoint, featuring tunes from Thrust and Head Hunters. Photo: Desiree Nikfardjam/Fulcrum
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Many enjoyed funky tunes, drinks, and a great vibe

On Nov. 19, Queen St. Fare hosted a Herbie Hancock Nite. The evening was full of funky tunes, drinks, and great energy all around. The night featured J.P Lapensee on bass, Isaac Isenor on guitar, and Valeriy Nehovora on drums.

Before the start of their set, the band could be found in the corner of the venue reading over their sheet music in preparation for the show.

The first half of the show included four songs from Hancock’s Thrust. “Palm Grease,” their first tune, was a great start to the night and got the audience ready for the night. Next, they played “Actual Proof,” and I will say that I am actual proof they crushed it! Too far? They ended off the set with “Butterfly” and “Spank-A-Lee.”

The energy they brought through their instruments was matched by the audience as they enjoyed the first set. A great addition to the night were the expressions on bassist J.P. Lapensee’s face while he was playing. You could tell he was feeling the music.

There was a short intermission, when the audience could buy drinks from the bar, or order some food from Capitol Burger, the only vendor that was open for the night.

After the intermission, the band came back to play their second set, which consisted of pieces from Hancock’s Head Hunters. The set included “Chameleon,” which the crowd actively enjoyed, dancing and moving in their seats. Next, they played “Watermelon Man,” “Sly,” and “Vein Melter.”

The song “Vein Melter” was a great way to end the night. With its slower tempo, it allowed the audience to come down from their funky high, and absorb all the wonderful music and company of the night.

Guitarist Isaac Isenor stole the show with dextrous chops and his ability to play funky tunes such as “Sly” and “Butterfly.” 

While I wasn’t familiar with Hancock’s music before the concert, afterwards I went back and listened to the albums the band played that night. I was amazed with how similar they sounded — the band really did a great job replicating Hancock’s signature sounds. After the show, I was able to speak with guitarist Isenor and ask him about some of his inspirations.

“The second album we did, the Head Hunters by Herbie Hancock, was the first jazz record I heard. So I’m glad to be at a point where I can play that music instead of just listening to it,” said Isenor. 

And play it he did!