Turn up! turn up! The Washington Wizards did it again! They won against Minnesota Timberwolves. It was great seeing how many people were there supporting them and cheering them on. It was a great game down to the last minute.
Just as the Washington Wizards were cheered on, the 2nd Friday Night Concert Series was granted that same energized spirit, as the audience consisted of many born and raised DC residents! This night featured two highly respected Go-Go Bands: Familiar Faces and Backyard Band. It was a fantastic moment for the fans, the bands and the overall forward movement Go-go music continues to make.
After tech did a very swift and great job at transitioning things from a basketball court to a stage setting complete with risers, monitors, mics, backdrops and lighting, everyone was ready for The Grown & Sexy band of the DMV, “Familiar Faces” to rock the stage first.
With their Hip-Hop oriented Go-go Crank approach, they strongly delivered an awesome set. They cranked with no apology. Wearing different variations of Washington Wizards T-Shirts, Team Familiar effortlessly got people on their feet, as this was not just a show for them but a victory party. With a band filled with Go-Go legends with a pure love for the city they proudly rep, you can’t get nothing less than the best. Familiar Faces band member lineup consists of: Band Leader Donnell Floyd – vocals/saxophone; Frank “Scooby” Marshall – vocals/guitar; Jeffery “Jammin Jeff” Warren – drums; Marquis “Quisy” Melvin – vocals; Kimberly “Kim Michelle” Graham – vocals; Derek “DP” Paige, Sr. – trumpet/vocals; Jasen “O” Holland – trumpet/vocals; Byron “BJ” Jackson – keyboards (R.I.P. to a multi-talented Duke Ellington School of the Arts Alumnus, known as a seriously passionate music maker with a very kind heart); Mike Arnold – keyboards; Sean Geason – bass; Eric “Bojack” Butler – percussion; and Milton “Go-Go Mickey” Freeman – congas. So, if for some reason you still are not hip, we at Concert Daily recommend that you go and get yourself Familiar at one of Team Familiar’s next shows.
Knowing that Backyard band was next, audience members were taking in the Verizon Center’s beauty and getting face time on the big screen projectors that were hanging from above. During this time, DJ Rico #TheNoiseMaker cranked up the excitement with his alluring ability to bring all of your energy to the forefront. As soon as he touched his DJ booth and turntables began to spin that good go-go music, the crowd went into full hype mode. So, it’s no surprise that DJ Rico got a great response all through his DJ sets. He just isn’t any DJ either. DJ Rico was the perfect pick for the 2nd after game concert series, because he is the essence of DC’s music scene. For years he has held the city down.
Being a pioneer that started out just wanting to be around music, to being a DJ at the hot spots in the metropolitan DC area while enrolled at Howard University, to taking his career to new major levels when he became a highly respected WPGC DJ/Mixer, On-Air Personality and even Assistant Producer of the Donnie Simpson show for years, back in 1991. His community driven heart, love of his city, and passion to DJ and take it worldwide, makes his participation on that night, one of his best career moments to add to his many achievements —and who better to share in go-go coming to the Verizon Center than Washington DC’s most influential DJ, who is a great example of what the go-go culture represents.
Next, and without much of a wait, it was time for The Bad Boys Of Go-Go Backyard Band to leave their imprint at the Verizon Center. The prestigious vibe that this band has, cannot be matched and they demonstrated that from the moment they stepped foot in eyes view of the audience. Coming from the floor entrance all the way on the right back end of the Verizon center, from where the stage was setup, they made a statement. Walking out in a single filed line, mostly wearing white hoodies custom made by Mitch Craft with every Washington DC’s sports team logo represented on it, they came to blaze.
As Backyard Band started their set, they immediately put the audience into a zone where it seemed as if they felt every beat, which regulated movement throughout their bodies as they danced and did the popular go-go dance referred to as “Beating Your Feet”. In other words, Backyard musically goes in and brings the shy right out of you. With the Founding member and Lead Talker “Anwan Glover”; “Weensey” (Singer and hook magician); “Sweet Thang” (Singer); “Los” (Rapper); “Earl” (Singer); “Buggy” (Drummer); “Sauce” (Congo/Rolotom); “Marcus” (Keyboard); “EB” (Keyboard); “Mike” (Keyboard); “Bob” (Lead Guitar), and “Nate” (Bass), Backyard Band comes to party and expects the same in return. Their long history of crankage has not lost its fire and Backyard is bound to keep reaching higher heights in the music industry because they will crank forever.
Now, for those who are not from the regional area, this is a historic trail blazing genre of music started in DC by dc natives. Go-Go’s name itself, derived from an alternative word for “Music Club”, as in the common phrase “Going To The Go-Go”, which was actually popularized by motown recording group “The Miracles”, which was a million- selling song that shared the same name. Go-Go has serious stomping ground in the DMV and is DC’s musical signature. There are so many factors, amazing individuals such as The God Father of Go-Go Chuck Brown, and many bands from it’s inception and evolution in the mid 60’s through the late 70’s who contributed to the sound of Go-Go music such as: The Young Senators, Black Heat, Los Lotinos later changed to Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers, Aggression, Experience Unlimited (E.U.) and sooo many more. They all significantly helped shape this addictive, funky, soul driven music with base drums, congas, and cowbells leading a deeply felt bounce beat. This all combined, is the driving force behind the magical, can’t stop your body from rocking, feel good music, DMV residents and abroad can’t get enough of! Concert Daily urges you to check out the full history of Go-Go Music by clicking here, because the respect Go-Go lovers have for this genre of music, is one every other style and genre would love to have. The loyalty is beyond real.
The beauty of sports, music and an overall city’s culture, entices people to enjoy representing their city/state and supporting their city’s sports and music. That’s the beauty of the Washington Wizards great idea to fuse these things together. So, do not miss out on the next opportunity to take part in this interactive merge of all of your favorite things.
Here are a couple of the upcoming dates and performers are:
Mar. 17 – Bell Biv Devoe, and DJ Money
Mar. 24 – Erica Campbell and DJ Enya
Just for clarity, these shows are totally free, but only with the purchase of a game ticket for that night’s Wizards game. For ticket information call 202-661-5050 or visit www.washingtonwizards.com/concertseries.
This event was presented by: Monster Products
Story By: @MarquitaCheron
About The Author: Marquita Cheron is a Jazzy-Soul/R&B Singer/Songwriter, Correspondent, Writer and overall Music Enthusiast; who has a love for every positive angle of the Music & Entertainment industry. Simply on a quest to reveal the greatness of amazing artists and their music to the masses, while also being a contributor of it herself.