Funk in the Oven takes Last Band Standing

After a night of Laurier musicians showcasing their talent on the Wilf’s stage, innovative band Funk in the Oven came out victorious as A-team’s Last Band Standing (LBS).

“It was fairly close, but I think there was a clear favourite amongst the audience,” said one of the LBS judges Ryan Wycherley, a former Radio Laurier executive.

“[Funk in the Oven] had a genre that you don’t usually hear new bands doing anymore. It was refreshing.”

Their high energy and seamless transitions were what set them apart from the other bands.

It was obvious that each member was a talented musician in his or her own right from the drummer to the saxophonist to the keyboardist; together, they were impressively cohesive, feeding off each other’s vivacity.

Funk also seemed to place more of an emphasis on the visual aspect of their performance rather than strictly the auditory.

The entire band was decked out in pink shirts with black ties, and both singers were wearing satin green shirts with suit jackets.

While on stage, front man Mike Vukovich already seemed to be convinced that he was a rock star; judging by the audience’s reaction, he was right.

His eccentric approach and disheveled style pushed Funk to the top.

Vukovich compared his band’s sound to “swimming without any trunks … because it’s really free and breezy.”

Ironically, he also advised students to “brush [their] teeth and comb [their] hair”; though, apparently he hasn’t done so (at least not the combing part) since he was 10.

The first band of the night was Third District, a professional-sounding group of musicians that quickly garnered respect from the audience.

“The lead singer was phenomenal,” said judge Wycherley. “They definitely had potential.”

Third District had excellent harmonies and a radio-quality sound. The highlight of their set was a solid cover of Drake’s “Best I Ever Had.”

They changed the style of the song, making it their own, and even had the crowd singing along with them.

The next band to hit the stage was The Sauce.

“The Sauce seemed more like a jam band,” commented Wycherley. “You could really tell that they were a bunch of friends that enjoyed playing music together.”

Though they had some issues with the venue’s sound levels, they were talented overall and well-received.

Vukovich described them as a cross between The Strokes and Velvet Underground.

Next to take stage were victors Funk in the Oven; after that, the final band of the night was The Odessa Steps Sequence.

“The Odessa incorporated so many different genres into their music,” said Wycherley.

“They had an ‘80s Brit-pop feel to them at times. Then they switched to a folk, country-rock sound, which is really strange and really unique. I don’t know what their best sound is,” he added, “but they’re exploring different things.”

The Last Band Standing finale will take place on Feb. 11 with previous winners The Dirty Nil, Insignia, Funk in the Oven and wildcard Third District.