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Chucklehead at the Middle East (Cambridge, MA)

by Maia Kennedy

The American Symphony of Soul started the night off. They filled the stage with eight musicians and the room was soon filled with their jazzy funk. With so much happening on stage, I almost overlooked their dainty lead singer when she first came on. She soon grabbed everyone’s attention though and held it with her incredibly powerful and soulful voice. Whether the songs were fast or slow, she delivered them with the same intensity and passion. Everyone was dancing, both on stage and off.

Ripe continued the evening with their style of energetic sweaty funk. The lead singer wore his own path on the stage, pacing, dancing, and delivering a fevered performance. No matter if they were tired from dancing with the first band, the audience responded to this blistering set and kept on moving.

Chucklehead was introduced by Jake the Puppet Master who came out with a large bird head puppet. He told us about a dream he had; we were all with him in space, along with some beings dressed in white. There was a giant bird hovering over these beings and the bird yelled out “CHUCKLEHEAD!” On cue, the band then ran on stage — looking like they had just stepped out of the Puppet Master’s dream, dressed head-to-toe in white. These guys looked ready to serve — and serve they did! The audience was hungry for some Chucklehead funk and they got exactly what they ordered! In Chucklehead’s own words, they put the “rumppa pump pump in the kick drum” and they did so all night long! The audience ate it up! Many in the audience have been fans for over 20 years. So far the only taste they’ve gotten, at least in Boston/Cambridge, has been 2 shows in 2 years and that was after a 17-year wait! These fans are anxious for even more. I’ve seen many Facebook posts, imploring the band to come visit — more shows in more cities. Who knows, maybe the Puppet Master will have another dream, this time taking a road trip instead of a space trip, and Chucklehead will follow?!

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