On Sunday the 25th, I ventured into San Francisco to see one of my favorite bands, 100 Monkeys. This band is so much fun to not only listen to but to watch live. They have a great energy and genuinely love to perform.
On their website, the Monkey's describe their music as, "onomatopoetic, but for the sake of simplicity, we'll call it funky rock-n-roll." I think that describes them pretty well. They've definitely got a funky groove to their music that you just can't help but shake your ass too. I've had to make several mix Cd's for dance classes and more often than not, a Monkey's song always makes the cut.
The band is comprised of Ben Graupner (AKA: Ben G.), Ben Johnson (AKA: Ben J.), Jackson Rathbone (AKA: J. Action), Jerad Anderson (AKA: J. Rad), and of course Lawrence Abrams (AKA: Uncle Larry). Every single member brings something very special to the band and I couldn't imagine what it'd be like if even one of them was missing.
The way the band performs, showcases every member's vast array of talents. During the show, and after almost every song, they all switch instruments in what they like to call "...the ol' Monkey Switcheroo" as quoted by Jackson during the show. Every member ends up playing every instrument at least once and they all take turns at the lead vocals. I love that they do this. It's such a fun concept and it makes it possible for every member to be the star. I get really tired of seeing bands where the lead singer is the star and the band is just their support. With these guys, that's absolutely not the case. I almost half expect them to scream "Chinese Fire Drill!" during the show and run around in circles before ending up at a different instrument.
Another amusing moment was the completely 100% improvised song that they usually feature in their sets. Their improvised songs are always created on a subject or song title that the audience calls out to them. Sunday's song was sung by the Southern drawl of Jackson Rathbone and was about a duck billed platypus. I don't know how he did it but he managed to make the song work and it was pretty damn catchy at the time.
I was ultimately excited when they sang most of my favorite songs during their two set show. That's right, a two set show with a short intermission in between sets so they could get drinks, take a breather and so Jackson could change his G string which broke during the very first song they played. (Insert jokes about Jackson's broken G string and "putting on a nice fresh G string," here. Ben G. and J. Rad definitely had some jokes during the show.)
After the show, the band did a meet and greet/ autograph signing which was pretty cool. I got to meet the guys (again, except for Jackson who I hadn't met yet) and get their autographs on their completely epic Swim Suit calender. They were all very nice guys and very polite. I had bought them a round of Jameson shots before their set and they were very appreciative when I told them that I sent them back stage.
The only thing I wish was different about the show was the fact that the band didn't take any pictures with their fans. I understand why but it was still disappointing none the less. They had a line wrapping around the room to meet them and if they each had to take a picture with every person, it would have taken forever to get through everyone before they had to leave. By forgoing the pictures, it meant everyone got a little face time with each of the band members. And also gave everyone a chance to buy some merch.
Over all, the night was pretty amazing and their show was definitely worth the trek into the city for me. I got to meet someone I've really wanted to for a long time and I got to see one of my favorite bands perform for an entire set (or two in their case). I highly recommend checking them out.
@100MonkeysMusic on Twitter