Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM


Nobody Move, There’s a Review on The Thundercat Concert! | Thundercat Live at the Masonic Temple

Alex Mendoza

Thundercat, a Grammy-award-winning bassist, singer and producer, has been captivating audiences on his “In Yo Girl’s City” tour since the start of 2023, drawing attention for his electrifying performances. In October, I was fortunate enough to witness his live show at the Masonic Temple — an experience that I could never forget. 

The atmosphere was the heartbeat of the night. Thundercat’s appeal spans across diverse audiences, particularly drawing in Black individuals with a love for “nerdy” interests. As a Black person and a self-professed nerd myself, the sight of fans sporting Dragon Ball durags — an amazing song of his and OG anime — created an instant sense of belonging. However, recounting the concert merely scratches the surface; seeing Thundercat live is an unparalleled experience, and I encourage anyone reading to do so if the opportunity presents itself.

Upon entering the main concert area, the sight of people wearing Dragon Ball durags was accompanied by a large inflatable panther bearing the ThunderCats emblem — a fitting piece of the artist’s aesthetic and the ThunderCats comics. I chatted with fellow fans; our anticipation swelled, wondering if Thundercat would surprise us with guest appearances as he had done in an earlier tour stop in Los Angeles, featuring artists like Steve Lacy, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala.

As the lights dimmed and the crowd’s excitement crescendoed, two women emerged from the giant panther, dressed in Afrofuturist attire, ushering in a sci-fi house beat. Coco and Breezy, the DJ duo, exuded energy that matched their avant-garde style, creating a unique atmosphere. It was like being invited to a futuristic boiler room where only the coolest of aliens were in attendance. Initially met with some hesitance, their music gradually enticed the audience, letting the beat take them. Their live mixing and spirited dancing set the tone, encouraging everyone to immerse themselves in the rhythm and let loose. Before exiting, they invited the audience to join them in a brief meditation — a calming prelude to the world of Thundercat.

With the opener’s set done, anticipation hung thick in the air. The lights bathed the stage in red as Mac Miller’s “Inside Out” set the mood. Thundercat, known to have a deep connection with Mac Miller, emerged from the panther, sporting a blue Adventure Time shirt, wielding his six-stringed bass. As kaleidoscopic patterns danced on the panther’s torso, Thundercat commenced with “Lost in Space,” showcasing his mastery of the bass. The performance was nothing short of mesmerizing — like seeing one of those biblically accurate angels, but it also played the bass. Justin Brown, Thundercat’s touring drummer, matched his G.O.A.T. status, engaging in a musical dialogue that spoke volumes of their artistic synergy.

After the concert I was reflecting on the experience with a friend. I couldn’t help but call Thundercat the Jimi Hendrix of the bass, referencing both artists’ extraordinary skill level at their respective instruments. We laughed at my extremeness in that comparison, but Thundercat undeniably possesses a talent that will etch a positive and long-lasting mark in music history.

What truly resonated was Thundercat’s openness and vulnerability with his fans. He shared memories of his close friend Meghan Stabile and of her passing, highlighting the profound impact losses like Stabile’s and Miller’s have had on his life’s trajectory. Delving into nostalgia, Thundercat revisited his “nerdy” pastimes — reading comics, watching anime and playing video games — acknowledging how these seemingly trivial pursuits shaped his present in profound ways. His recollection of visiting Tokyo and seeing reflections of his past self among the crowd struck a chord, fostering a sense of community among strangers in that shared moment.

Thundercat played many familiar favorites, including “Black Gold,” the opening song from the anime Yasuke, narrating the story of a Black samurai in the Sengoku period. I danced alongside both old and new friends, savoring an experience that transcended entertainment. It’s an event I’m immensely grateful to have gone to. 

For anyone with a love for groovy tunes, anime or comic books, seeing Thundercat live is an opportunity not to be missed. I eagerly anticipate another chance to witness Thundercat’s magic on stage and hope that everyone has the opportunity to join on a musical journey with him.

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About the Contributor
Sydney Sims, Music Director
Sydney Sims (she/they) is the Music Director at Impact! They are Majoring in Creative Advertising with a minor in Photography. They have been apart of the Impact for a year, and their favorite teams to be apart of were Music Review, Graphics, Audio, and Street. She loves listening to and finding new music, and her favorite artists right now is Frank Ocean.  She still holds her middle school emo days close to her heart, and they have influenced her music taste til this day. They're really excited to write a "we watch it for the music" for E-team! "Stay groovy🎶" "It takes more than pressure to change a rock to diamond , now all you got is sand slipping through your fingers" - Precious ( Esperanza Spalding)

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