LYNN — Kool & the Gang turned Lynn Auditorium into party central Sunday night.
The kings of funky rhythm & blues, with two original members (Robert “Kool” Bell and George Brown) in tow, had fans moving and grooving from the get-go. The stage could barely contain the 10 musicians, including two singers and four horn players, as they bobbed and weaved and danced throughout the 17-song, 100-minute set. Energy was high from both the band and attendees all night.
This tour is a celebration of the Jersey City band’s 50 years as chart-toppers, with most of those beloved dance hits raising the roof. Kool & the Gang performed at the auditorium just last August. Nevertheless, a large number of fans showed up to have a great time.
The evening started smooth and sultry, with sexy sax-fueled “Too Hot” and “Joanna.” This was mere foreplay to the sweaty delights to come. At about 30 minutes in, the instrumental “Open Sesame,” powered by drums, bass and blaring horns, got everyone up, shaking their groove thing. It was Sunday night fever from that point on.
“Funky Stuff” led to long run-throughs of “Jungle Boogie” and a vibrant trombone-charged “Hollywood Swinging.” The slow, seductive ballad “Cherish” segued into the closing three-pack of frantic versions of “Ladies’ Night,” “Get Down On It” and “Celebration,” which became a loud sing-along. There’s a party going on right here … Indeed!
Kudos to band members who hung around after the lights went on, shaking hands and chatting with fans for quite a while.