Rose On The River Recap Day 4

Bass Nerds Marc Najjar and Jody Miller head out to the inaugural festival for Bass Magazine

Rose On The River Recap Day 4

Bass Nerds Marc Najjar and Jody Miller head out to the inaugural festival for Bass Magazine

On the final day of the inaugural Rose On The River Fest in Chicago, the continued theme of monster bassists was met with resounding excitement from fans. From legacy acts to rising stars, a sold-out day 4 was packed with enthusiasm as rainy conditions didn’t seem to slow down the excitement.

Giacomo Turra

With unexpected rain, fans were cheerful and eager to welcome Italian multi-instrumentalist Giacomo Turra (with his band, The Funky Minutes). The band kicked offwith ‘Galactic Funk’ – a cover of Japanese jazz-funk legends Casiopea (much to the delight of many members of the audience such as myself). Giacomo is known for his abilities as a multi-instrumentalist, and seeing him and the band effortlessly move from instrument to instrument set up the day beautifully for what became a sort of theme for the day. The rain did not stop the party, as those in attendance were beaming from the first note onto the end of the day (especially us bassists, as a bass-heavy medley of covers got us fired up with bassist Francesco Dallago tearing it up – ‘What Is Hip’, ‘Hysteria’, ‘Teen Town’….COME ON!)

Francesco Dallago of Giacomo Turra & The Funky Minutes

Hitting the stage after a slight delay was Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. It’s been over 20 years since I last saw KDTU perform (at the first two Bonnaroo Music Festivals, humble brag!) and I was beaming in the same way as I was back then. The multi-instrumentalist directed the 6-piece band through a powerful soundscape, anchored by NYC-based bassist Parker McAllister. With Karl’s history as a jam pioneer as well as first-call wind player (with gigs such as The Rolling Stones), having Parker lay down such a massive, impactful, and flawless foundation is critical. I don’t think there was a still body in the entire fairgrounds!

Parker McAllister of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

Up next, we were treated with a Celebration Of The Meters – with Dumpstaphunk at the foundation, the tone was set by the New Orleans funk legends with Tony Hall beginning the set on bass for the first few songs, only then to move to guitar and to be joined by Meters founding members, the incomparable George Porter Jr on bass and Leo Nocentelli on guitar. With Ivan Neville tearing up the keys (and sharing in the Meters’ bloodline), they rounded out the set with the classic Meters tunes that have inspired us for generations. 

George Porter Jr
Tony Hall of Dumpstaphunk

Closing out such a bass-centric festival with Vulfpeck seemed as if the promotors were bass players themselves, as it capped off4-days of low-end-leaders with a band who has gifted the world with ‘Dean Town’ – a 4 minute sing-along bass solo (seriously…5000 people singing along to a bass solo note-for-note is truly a sight to see, and having the entire festival close with this song is evidence to support my above claims). Vulfpeck is known for playing musical chairs with ease, and are experts at proving that music majors are cool. Not one note was missed by the crowd, and with Joe Dart‘s masterful bass-playing, the 4-days of low-end delight will be cherished by those who were fortunate to attend for many years to come. 

Joe Dart