The first time I saw Con Brio was at this year’s Outside Lands Music Festival. I told myself I was only going to stay for one song but half a dozen songs later, I forgot about catching Big Grams and I found myself lost in a trance with the funk tunes blasting from the Panhandle stage.
Singer Ziek McCarter’s dance moves reminded me of a young Michel Jackson’s, and the band’s chemistry was infectious. I was one of the hundreds of other people who chose to skip a trip to the main stage and watch this soulful, high-energy band.
Outside Lands was just one of many live shows on the band’s list of 2016 performances. Over the past year, Con Brio has toured all over the world and hit big-name festivals along the way — Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Fuji Rock in Japan, to name a few.
Though the Bay Area group has spent the majority of the year on the road or recording new tracks, the band returns home for a show at The UC Theatre in Berkeley on October 14. I caught up with McCarter via phone during the band’s trip from Salt Lake City to Colorado to play alongside The Wailers at Longmont Oktoberfest.
This concert will be Con Brio’s first headlining show in the Bay Area since the band’s sold-out show at The Independent back in February. Though the group celebrated its record release for Paradise at Outside Lands, McCarter is excited to play a more intimate concert in the Bay.
“A lot of our families, friends, and loved ones, they always ask ‘When’s the next time you’re playing in the Bay?’ A lot of people that supported us and have been long-term fans want to see us. At Outside Lands, you don’t want to buy a $200- or $300-dollar ticket to see your favorite band play for 45 minutes,” McCater says. “It’ll be a lot of fun and I’m just excited to play in the East Bay.”
The seven-piece group spends a lot of time on the road. “It seems like we’ve been on one long tour for the past two years,” he says. ” We play a lot. A lot of our