The TIME Review - Mohegan Sun in CT 12.31.07

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The TIME Review - Mohegan Sun in CT 12.31.07

Messagepar JoeKelley » 06/01/08 16:43

Event: The Time in Concert
Venue: Mohegan Sun Casino’s Wolf Den in Uncasville, Connecticut
Date/Time: December 31st, 2007 9:00 pm EST

To view pics of the night onstage and backstage, please go to: www.myspace.com/lollypop and click on pics. You can view them in the Lolly and The Time NYE album. Photos courtesy of Brooke Aldridge.

The Time set up the funk store for two nights here in Connecticut, Dec. 30th and 31st. We had originally planned to attend the first night but a snowstorm in the Northwest Hills kept us home. Gi Dussault and I sans Electric Man and Soulsistah # 1 (family commitments) made the 90 minute trek on New Year’s Eve.

The Wolf Den is a great venue and the shows are free. We have seen The Time several times here. Gi and I were seated at a table at the front of the stage right between Morris Day and Ricky “Freeze” Smith. Our tablemates included two nice ladies who lived by the casino and didn’t even know who was playing that night, and a couple who were into the funk and were recapping a recent George Clinton Wolf Den show. Jellybean Johnson and his lady strode in and greeted us warmly and we said we would see them after the concert. Bean had on a cool Minneapolis winter coat.

The Playas:

Morris Day: vocals, orchestration and vocals
Jellybean Johnson: drums and backing vox
Monte Moir: keyboards and backing vox
Tori “Sir FreakJuice” Ruffin: guitars and backing vox
Ricky “Freeze” Smith: bass and backing vox
Jeff “JMac” McNeeley: keyboards and backing vox
Sylvester David Jr. Aka Sly Shizzle: mirror man, percussion and valet
Dynamite Danny : valet and steps
JB: emcee and protector of valuables
Jesse: manager
Eddie: guitar tech

The Show

The lights were dimmed and the clock ticked and the prerecorded mashup of Time hits was played. A tremendous night of MPLS funk and roll commenced with the rocking “Skillet”. Tori Ruffin was blazing on the six-string and the band was in fine spirits and looking dap. My only surprise was not seeing Rhastus up there playing his cowbell during “Skillet”. I later found out he was booked for a gig in northern Florida.

The Time blazed through smoking versions of “Cool”, “Get It Up”, “Oak Tree”, and “777-9311”. Though we have seen the band countless times since the Triple Threat Tour during the early 80s, they always manage to put new twists on classic Time songs. For example, there was a midsong break during “Pandemonium” which sounded great. I always love the North Side Minny part of “Ice Cream Castles” . Back Da Booty Up!. Instead of the overextended “Gigolos Get Lonely Too”, the Time perform a slow jam medley with “Gigolos” as its centerpiece. Vocally, Morris sounded as fine as ever and his his dance steps were supreme.

Gi and I were seated so close that we could watch nuances of all the performers and revel in their superb musicianship. Monte Moir, with his three keyboard setup, exhibited why his versatile playing is so crucial to The Time’s sound. Plus, I always enjoy his joking and stepping with Morris. Jellybean drove the train with power and finesse. He leaves it all on the stage and you feel as if he has gone ten rounds with Holyfield and won by a unanimous decision. Tori Ruffin delved between heavy metal rock, rhythmic funk, gutsy blues, and jazzy riffs. At point, he climbed some railings in the Wolf Den and played guitar all the while and managed to jump back onstage not missing a beat. Ricky “Freeze” Smith layed down some phenomenal bass and injected his unique style into a band that has been clocking it since the early 80s. One talented brotha. Nice to see Jeff McNeeley manning the other keyboards. He brought some classic playing and coolness. Nice coat JMac.

The Mohegan Sun crowd consisted of hard-core Time fans, people who only know the band from Purple Rain, and folks who wouldn’t know The Time from a Timex watch. Our great friend, Jerome Benton, would have had this New Years Eve crowd bouncing off the walls with his innate talent to work a crowd . Everyone misses him dearly. But the new cats, Sly Shizzle and Dynamite Danny, bring some nice talent and enthusiasm as well. They are being given more stage responsibilities and are grateful and humble about being in the band.

Touching moments: Morris Day introducing his wife of 21 years to the audience. He said she keeps him in check most of the time. Also, Morris prefaced “The Walk” by asking us to listen to the lyrics and that it was time to end this was in Iraq.

Funny tidbit: During “Ice Cream Castles”, one lady came up to Morris and said she used to work with Otis Day. When she left the stage, Morris said for her to say hi to Otis.

Backstage

Always great to catch up with the fellas every few months and see how they are doing. The night was festive as it was New Year’s Eve. Very nice to see the bandmates wives and girlfriends here for the weekend’s shows. All of the ladies were kind and we hope to see them more at upcoming shows. Morris bounced in and out of the backstage area and gave us a warm hello.

It was a pleasure to meet Brooke Aldridge (the former Lolly Pop) who was in town to see the weekend’s shows. The Minneapolis star told us about some of her new projects and we really enjoyed talking about the changes in the music industry with her. She is style personified!

Monte Moir is currently hard at work at completing his second solo CD. He has a high-tech home studio out in Minnesota. Jellybean is also playing guitar on tour with Ronnie Baker Brooks. Tour dates at http://www.ronniebakerbrooks.com. Plus, he, St. Paul, Chance, Kip Blackshire and Eric Leeds have wrapped up work on The Truth’s new album. Tori Ruffin has been gigging across the country in support of his band FreakJuice’s outstanding new CD “Like U”. Cop this baby and have an eargasm http://www.myspace.com/freakjuicmusic. Freeze has been extremely busy writing and producing out in LA. He is producing Katt Williams for a funky music CD.

Will a new Time record be released? The fans have been clamoring for one for years. Time will tell. But we hear that some medicianal funk will be available this spring . We will keep you posted.

Thanks to The Time for their genuine hospitality and red carpet welcome for us always.

Sidenote : Gi and I were so pumped up from the show that I took the wrong highway and a 90 minute drive home took 3 and a half hours. We wound up in Massachussetts. But we had a great night.
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Dj-Groover
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Messagepar Dj-Groover » 06/01/08 17:26

ouhaou!!! :shock: thanxx !

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we were dancin on The Bird together at the Dudulle's New year eve party here in France ! and it was the dancefloor bomb of this first 2008 night ! :cool:

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Doumba Funk
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Messagepar Doumba Funk » 08/01/08 01:52

Great report ! Thanks a lot !

So there is a Cd out with St Paul and Eric Leeds ?


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