Anderson. Paak and The Free Nationals bring the funk to the Fillmore Philly

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Anderson .Paak | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

Think about the first time Anderson .Paak‘s music caught your ear. Where you at Venice when you heard “Might Be” on the radio? Did you catch the Holy Ghost the first time you heard Yes Lawd? Was it after experiencing strawberry season in Malibu or perhaps you finally became a fan while walking down Saviers Road in his hometown of Oxnard?

No matter when and where you discovered him, the one thing that has never changed is that the Grammy Award singer, rapper, producer, and drummer is also an amazing performer. This past Sunday at The Fillmore, Anderson. Paak along with his good friends and his incredible band, Free Nationals, gave Philadelphia a soulful west coast funky performance during his Andy’s Beach Club World Tour.

Anderson .Paak | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

The opening act was Tayla Parx, a singer/songwriter who has been making a name for herself by lending her pen game to artist such as Ariana Grande, Khalid, The Internet, Chris Brown, Janelle Monae, Majid Jordan and many more. She told the crowd that this was her first time coming to Philadelphia, so she made sure to leave a good impression. Philadelphia ended up loving Tayla; her voice was good, but it was her energy that kept the Fillmore tuned in. Performing original music like “Jeffery,” covering Janelle Monáe’s “I Like That,” and playing new music like “I Want You” and ““Me vs. Us” from her upcoming debut album We Need To Talk, Tayla Parx was able to win the crowd over and get them ready rock out with Anderson. Paak and the Free Nationals.

Tayla Parx | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

A couple minutes after Tayla Parx’s performance, it went dark, the stage lights turned red and the sold out Fillmore crowd got excited to see the headliner of the Andy’s Beach Club World Tour. Moments later Anderson. Paak appeared on the drums and started to get busy. He then proceeded to sing “The Chase,”the intro song off his third and most recent album Oxnard. The crowd marveled as they watched this guy rap and sing the songs they loved while going ham on the drums and with Ron Tnava Avant, Jose Rios, Kelsey Gonzales, Callum Connor — better known as Free Nationals — not to mention a dope trumpeter, Anderson. Paak was able to put on a show for the City of Brotherly Love. They kept the crowd bouncing to his Grammy award winning song “Bubblin’,” had everyone put their lighters up during “Glowed Up,” and even had Andy surfing through the crowd while rapping “Saviors Roads.” It was also great to see that, even though Anderson. Paak was the star of the show, he wasn’t the only one that was able to shine. The trumpet player blew soul through his horn when it was time to play “Smile” and “Trippy.” Jose was able to win The Fillmore’s heart during “Heart Don’t Stand A Chance” and Ron’s hands on the piano keys and auto-tuned back up vocals made tunes like “Anywhere” and “Might Be” groovy as he wanted. Free Nationals even played their first single “Beauty & Essex” while the crowd sang Daniel Caesar’s part.

Anderson .Paak | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN

It’s easy to see why Anderson. Paak and The Free Nationals were able to sell out tickets tickets so fast after watching them perform. The energy and the level of musicianship that they displayed were through the roof, it’s like they are their own version of Parliament, bringing nothing but funk to every city they performed at. Anderson decided to show how funky of a drummer he is when it came time play “Put Me Thru,”  and when they slowed “Suede” down for a vibe that sounded like 70’s pimp theme music. They took it to collard greens touching the cornbread funk levels when it came time to do “Come Down,” Am I Wrong,” and “Lite Weight.” They even brought out Tayla Parx to add her own kind of funk when it was time to perform “Tints.”

At the finale Anderson. Paak dedicated this performance to his father, who was was born and raised in Philly, and to his dear friend the late Mac Miller, and closed the show out with “Dang,” a a beautiful tribute to those who are gone too soon. You could see a picture of him and his friend in the background while the crowd rapped the verse of the late MC. It was beautiful ending to a night.

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