Funk in the Oven come out victorious at the Last Band Standing finale

After a year-long battle of the bands, beginning on Oct. 30, musicians Funk in the Oven were announced as the victors.

A-Team’s annual Last Band Standing (LBS) came to a close on Thursday, Feb. 4.

The competition’s champions were announced after beating out 11 other bands, including two preliminary winners, The Dirty Nil and Insignia, and wildcard Third District.

Along with the title of being the “Last Band Standing”, Funk in the Oven received $1,000 and an opportunity to perform alongside last year’s LBS champion, Sound Foundation.

“There was tight competition,” said judge and Sound Foundation saxophonist, Nate Payne, after the show. “It wasn’t like Funk in the Oven was just miles above the rest, but it was pretty clear who the winner should be.”

Funk in the Oven was the first band to hit the stage that night, filling Wilf’s with their feel-good, high-energy tunes.

Their creativity and originality was dazzling and their set flowed flawlessly. Lead vocalist Mike Vukovich’s charismatic personality captivated the crowd and promoted audience interaction.

Though the band’s eccentric yet professional demeanor set them apart in more ways than one, judge Payne was particularly impressed with their genuine musicality and the way they used their composition.

“Any band can throw down a solid groove,” commented Payne.

“But these guys could really put it together. They were tight as hell, and funk music isn’t easy to play. There are a lot of intricacies and different chord structures that go into it.”

Payne lauded Funk in the Oven’s saxophonist, David Vukovich – the lead vocalist’s brother – explaining that he was a large part of their charm.

“He doubled on instruments; he played baritone and tenor and knew how to do both. He’s only been playing for two years and is already at the stage he is at which is pretty impressive.”

Sharing a taste of their unique flare, vocalist Mike Vukovich metaphorically interpreted Funk in the Oven’s music as being like “a baby otter vibrating from leaning against a subwoofer” and their physical style “like looking through a kaleidoscope with beer goggles.”

When speaking with The Cord after the show, Vukovich said of music in general that he thinks it’s “in a transitionary period.”

“I haven’t really liked the stuff that’s been going on for the past 10 years but more recently I’ve been hearing some good stuff happening,” he said. “Hopefully that will transition into something even better.”

Though obviously happy that their band came out on top, Funk in the Oven’s members were also impressed with the other performances.

“We genuinely enjoyed them all,” said Vukovich. “And Third District [the final band of the night who also had performed with Funk during the preliminaries] has really improved since the last time we saw them,” added Kim Manning, Funk’s keyboardist and vocalist.

The second band to perform was Insignia. Their melodic approach was a nice contrast to Funk’s buoyancy.

Their style, which was borderline hardcore-grunge, provoked a brief mini mosh-pit.

Next to hit the stage was The Dirty Nil. Payne noted after the show that he was impressed with their “early punk feel.”

The night’s victors Funk in the Oven will perform with Sound Foundation at Wilf’s on Monday, March 8.

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