A Seriously Funky Show at Da Vinci Centre 

Story by Emily Turner, Photo by Darren McChristie

A red tutu, a pink gorilla suit, a banana costume, numerous colourful capes, and KFC merch—this is just some of the apparel conga-playing, guiro-rocking Tom Towers of Five Alarm Funk wore during their show at the Da Vinci Centre on July 13. When you show up to see a band with “funk” in the name, you definitely expect to see some funky stuff, but no one could prepare themselves for the amazingly groovy outfits rocked by all eight of the Five Alarm Funk members on that warm, summer night in early July. Combined with an electrifying stage performance and the seriously good tunes, without a doubt Five Alarm Funk brought one of the best nights of the year to Thunder Bay with this incredible parking lot show.

Self-described as “a horn powered, percussion fueled, sonic and visual assault,” according to their social media, Five Alarm Funk is one of those iconic bands that have a trademark sound. With timbales, congas, bass, a trumpet, saxophone, guitars, and a drum kit, every song is a fantastic combination of exciting sounds that blend together to make some totally funky songs. Their music echoed far and wide as the audience at the Da Vinci grew steadily larger throughout the set, which lasted an impressively long time. With 20 years of performing under their belt, the group absolutely knows how to put on a show, and it really is a wonder how they continue with such exhilarating energy. Between every song, as Towers quickly changed into another costume behind his drums, band-members had big smiles and shared quick laughs amongst each other as the crowd cheered. There was a collective moment of panic in the audience when they departed the stage briefly for a quick hydration break, and overwhelming relief when everyone realized they weren’t done yet. 

The way saxophone player Mike Allen engaged the audience with his humorous facial expressions and consistent hand motions was enough to make him a fan favouritewhen the moment came where he jumped off the stage to join the crowd, everyone went berserk. The whole band, each with their own unique role, had everyone in the audience jumping around and dancing as they jammed away to the setting sun. At the end of it all, there was only one question: when will this amazing Canadian band be back to Thunder Bay? We can only hope it’ll be sometime soon.