Thundercat’s live show full of rhythm and life


Thundercat performed at KEMBA Live! in Columbus Ohio on Wednesday, August 24. Credit: Justin Volley | For The Lantern

Thundercat graced the Kemba Live! stage on August 24 with a simply spectacular performance.

Born Stephen Bruner, Thundercat is well known for his use of bass guitar and vocals which has attracted listeners from all corners of the music industry. He can be heard on records by artists and bands – Kendrick Lamar, Silk Sonic and Mac Miller – according to his Spotify page. As a solo artist he combines elements of soul, jazz and funk and has produced critically acclaimed records such as ‘Drunk’ and ‘It is What It Is’, the latter winning a Grammy in 2021.

With a stage full of lights and a retro-style stage setup, Thundercat’s music tells how he understands and is influenced by music. Thundercat delivered an incredible performance both vocally and instrumentally, making the experience memorable and enjoyable for all in attendance. It captivated audiences and very few people looked at their phones except to hit a record. His music combines an appreciation for a retro 1980s style while adding a unique and futuristic sound to listeners.

Throughout the show, he played fan favorites from “Dragonball Durag” to “Them Changes,” which gave the audience balance and a sense of familiarity. With numerous references to popular cartoons, such as “Dragon Ball Z”, “Naruto” and “My Hero Academia”, Thundercat provided insight into what inspired their creative process over the past few years.

Last year, Thundercat had the chance to create a theme song for a Netflix original anime “Yasuke”. The song, titled “Black Gold,” was amazing to hear live with the variety of instruments taking listeners into a whole new world of Japanese style. Shortly after creating the song, he got his first acting gig in “The Book of Boba Fett” – the new Star Wars series on Disney+. He appears in “Chapter 4: The Gathering Storm” as a body modification artist known as The Modifier.

“What’s left to do after playing Star Wars? Thundercat said to the crowd in the middle of the show.

Simply put, if you were expecting an ‘old school jazz night’ this wasn’t it. Its show and sound may be somewhat unfamiliar to the public, but after listening for a short time, the atmosphere, music and general vibe allow for a new experience and the chance to see Thundercat pioneering a new type of music.


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