A psychedelic smash comes to downtown Buffalo

Turkuaz and The Suffers give an electrifying performance at Iron Works


Turkuaz had barely ran through their latest album “Digitonium,” three hours into their set.

The group ended the show with their hit song “The Generator.” Lead vocalist and guitarist Dave Brandwein thanked the crowd, signed off and the rest of the group followed off stage. The show ended without Turkuaz performing their most popular song, much to the crowd’s disappointment. Some clapped for the end but most hollered for an encore.

Their calls did not go unanswered.

Turkuaz didn’t forget about “Bubba Slide.” The band took up their positions once more and the crowd erupted.

The concert at Iron Works on Tuesday night, headed by the Brooklyn-funk collective Turkuaz, also featured The Suffers, an American soul group. The show was an exercise in extravagance and individuality among members of these two large groups.

Kam Franklin’s powerful vocals pierced the crowd throughout The Suffers’ set.

The Suffers performed heartfelt funk tunes that had the crowd grooving for over an hour, but the show did not truly start until Turkuaz took the stage.

Colorful strobe lights illuminated the group. Their eccentric and vibrant outfits paired perfectly with the group’s opening song and latest single, “On the Run.”

Heads were bumping throughout the venue as fingers snapped and hands soared in the air. The song began with a subtle buildup on the electric keyboard, leading to the sudden burst of instruments. From the classic guitar and bass, to the baritone sax and electric recorder, Turkuaz wasn’t short on variety.

This extended to their dress, as each member wore color-coded uniforms to match the spectrum of the rainbow.

The group, characterized as a power funk band, implemented a twist on the classic funk style, incorporating elements of pop and rhythm and blues.

Buffalonians like Gregg Mitchell loved the group’s innovative mix, citing their cross-generational appeal.

“[The band] pushes the boundaries of the funk genre and makes it new, exciting and fun for everyone. Even my kids love their music,” Mitchell said.

Throughout the night, the band continued to entertain with songs like “Nightswimming.”

Various members like tenor sax player Greg Sanderson and keyboardist Craig Brodhead, gave extended solos during the song. Elsewhere, bassist Taylor Shell and drummer Michelangelo Carubba led the group in rhythm while Brandwein went back and forth with the group’s vocalists and dancers.

Sarah Solowitz, a Buffalo resident, took interest in the band’s collaborative style.

“I really appreciate how Turkuaz emphasizes the performance on soloists. You can tell they’re truly a group and not just a lead singer with a band,” Solowitz said.

Turkuaz is far from a typical funk group and perhaps the most notable of the evening’s performances came from their unique usage of unconventional instruments.

In “Digital Love,” Brodhead performed a solo with a talk box, modifying the tone and his key while using the keyboard.

Lincoln Backman-Lowe, a sophomore civil and environmental engineering student, appreciated the eclectic instrumentation.

“The coolest part of the show was the all weird instruments they used,” Backman-Lowe said. “The keyboardist was speaking into some sort of tube that made him sound like a robot. It worked so well. I’ve never heard anything like it in a funk band.”

Chris Yang is a staff writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com.