by DJ Mixolydian
Striped tees, Fender Stratocasters, a tight horn section, and one loud drummer. Los Angeles based Funk/R&B/Pop guitarist Cory Wong brought his vintage guitar and fantastic backing band to the Catalyst on October 22 for a night of high-energy funky tunes. Wong, who hails from the funk rock pioneering city of Minneapolis, is a touring member for the funk quartet known as Vulfpeck, a band that recently reached over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Wong released his first solo record in 2016 and has been releasing new music every year since.
This current tour is a promotion for his newest album, Motivational Music for the Syncopated Soul, his fourth studio album. Wong played many tunes from this new release, as well as many from his previous two albums, The Optimist and Cory Wong and the Green Screen Band.
Wong came out of the gate firing funky triads, playing a hit from the newest release, “Lunchtime” Also included in the performance from Motivational Music for the Syncopated Soul were tracks “Companion Pass”, “Cosmic Sans” and “Frogville”. Wong also played some common live performance tracks from his repertoire, such as “Jax”, “’91 Maxima”, and “The Optimist”, all taken from his 2018 release The Optimist.
After a few songs had been completed, Wong took the opportunity to use his platform to promote the importance of good internet behavior, displaying a screenshot of messages and comments he had received which were extremely negative in spirit, imploring us social media users to let the toxic side of the internet roll off your back. He also shared his experience of attending the University of Minnesota (where he met his keyboardist Kevin Goss, whom he has been touring with ever since) to pursue a degree in science, though knowing all along that music was his true calling. He decided to dedicate his life to the guitar, and assured the creative audience that we have the capability to attain a profession in the arts.
All of this was the perfect segue into Wong performing his most recent single, and first track that featured a music video, “Today I’m Gonna Get Myself a Real Job”; a song that describes his journey from internal struggle about pursuing music to eventually making himself vulnerable and sharing his work on the internet. Obviously, this idea payed off for Wong, as he has now shared the stage with musical geniuses such as David T. Walker, Trey Anastasio, and Bernard Purdie among others.
For the last song, Wong brought out warm-up act singer/songwriter Phoebe Katis to perform a hit of hers “Honesty”. Everyone at the Catalyst that night looked quite satisfied with the bodacious funk music that had just been performed. Wong’s tour continues through California and Colorado until November 2.