Busty and the Bass graced the stage at Maxwell’s

Photo by Emilia Zibaei

Photo by Emilia Zibaei

Last Friday, Busty and the Bass graced the stage at Maxwell’s Concerts and Events as they performed their unique jazz, rap, pop, electronic musical fusion. This was not the first time the Montreal-based band stopped in Waterloo, but it was the first time their energetic sound was able to draw in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at Maxwell’s.

Busty and the Bass has come a very long way since their beginning at McGill University. Known as the band to play at every house party, they have now transitioned to perform at music festivals such as Jazz Fest and Osheaga for upwards of 30,000 people.

Each member cohesively works together as their differing musical specialty cultivates their unique sound.

The band is complied of nine members: Nick Ferraro as lead vocalist and on saxophone, Evan Crofton keyboardist and vocalist, Scott Bevins and Mike McCann on trumpet, Chris Vincent who plays the trombone, Louis Stein on guitar, Julian Trivers on drums, Eric Haynes on piano and Milo Johnson on bass.

I had the opportunity to speak with bassist Milo Johnson about the band’s groovy sound for their new EP lift.

“This was the first project entirely done on our own — we did the production, we recorded it at our house, we decided to keep the process under one roof, the more we work, we write, we record, the easier it is to manage that process to create our sound,” Johnson said.

The band opened the concert with their hit new single “Miss Judge” and concluded it with an extraordinary trumpet solo.

The energy was translating from the stage to the audience as people waved their arms, danced on their feet and sang along to the tunes, truly embracing the vibe their energetic music emulates.

Every band member jammed along with large grins on their faces as the crowd kept moving their feet. At one point, audience members even began to breakdance to the uplifting sound.

The band was so impressed by the hype of the room they took a selfie with the crowd to bookmark the moment.

“This was the best concert I have ever been to … I’ve never heard a sound like this … it’s just so unique. I couldn’t stop dancing and moving my feet,” said third-year Laurier student, Rachel Watson.

It’s so rare a jazz-based band can appeal to a young audience. Busty and the Bass’ ability to have a large stage presence and communicate to the crowd is the key to their success. But having their exclusive, progressive sound pulls the band together to create their musical identity.

Being a part of such a large band definitely has its ups and downs, but Johnson said it’s definitely rewarding because each person is such an important piece of the puzzle. He said the key is to, “find your individual space even if it’s just for a half hour.”

This concert is reminiscent of the first time I ever saw Busty and the Bass in Toronto. The comforting sound brought a sheepish grin on my face. It felt so familiar to hear their contagious sound. The only difference: the crowd was much bigger.

It’s clear their fan base is only getting bigger. They are truly the reigning kings of funk as more people are hopping on board the Busty train.

Johnson has big plans for the band in the future.

“[We are] starting different music projects and companies within Montreal, from a publishing arm, label arm, recording studio, so everyone has their own little area to build something.”

Keep on grooving, Busty — the ‘loo will be waiting for you when you come back.

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