Article by: Lee Fraser
The Justin Bacchus Collective get funky at The Rex on Saturdays in March.
The Rex in Toronto, ON
Show starts at 7 pm, all ages, no cover (music appreciation jar)
The Rex is a small cozy venue that hasn't changed much in 50 years. The stage is worn and creaky. The tables and chairs get jostled around every night by the crowd of regulars, music students and tourists. Early in the evenings on Saturdays in March (except the 24th), the Justin Bacchus Collective will transform the Rex into a pulsating cavern of elbow-to-elbow exuberance.
Justin Bacchus grew up singing in a gospel choir, with a proud Mama egging him on to explore his charming stage presence. With strong vocals and humourous interaction with the audience, Justin gets everyone into the party with his set list of 60's, 70's and 80's funk. Hits like "Let’s Get It On", Higher Ground" and "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)" get everyone in the Rex smiling and singing along. Justin works the crowd into a near frenzy, threatening to turn the planned two sets plus a break into one long funk marathon.
Justin's band is nothing to shrug off. The core collective consists of widely sought-after guitarist Eric St-Laurent, bassist Juwayon Clarke and drummer extraordinaire Larnell Lewis. Though there have been times when there's a sub or two, Justin always manages to surround himself with players who groove together tightly and just generally have a great time on-stage. Holding it all together is the sage keyboardist, Justin's co-director of the group, Sam Williams.
Check them out after some downtown shopping one Saturday, or before heading off to a show later in the evening. You won't regret getting your groove on.