Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band may have been opening for Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (in as much as anyone opens for anyone at Bele Chere), but they played like they were headlining the festival. And in a way, Bele Chere is the local funk band’s festival to headline — this is their eighth showing at the annual street fete.
The crowd was not only enthusiastic but near-rabid (an Xpress photographer had to fight his way both into and back out of the fray). That kind of enthusiasm brings exactly the kind of energy the Booty Band requires for their amped-up set. And, while they played old favorites and new material, they also added a few surprises. Like tossing an air mattress into the audience. And then tossing trombone player Derrick Johnson after the mattress.
The band’s heavy funk grooves not only promoted fun but insisted on it, and the crowd — which spanned from stage all the way up Coxe Avenue to the busy beer stand — responded by showing off its very best dance moves.
Photos by John Zara.