The Original 7ven at the State Theatre, 11/5/11

The Original 7ven
November 5, 2011
State Theatre

Making history once again, this time on the luscious State Theatre stage, the Orginal 7ven (or the Artists formerly known as "The Time") brought their precious brand of Minnesota Nasty to an eager audience of old-schoolers ready to throw down for a night of nothing but 80's synth-fueled funk that only these guys know how to conjure up.

Though Morris Day and the boys have reunited for some big gigs in the last few years and stayed active funkifying audiences in one amalgamation of the Time or another, including most recently at the State Fair this past summer, this was the first performance in the Twin Cities under their new moniker, the spellcheck challenged nom de plume "The Original 7ven".

After dropping their latest fresh piece of wax, Condsensate, this month, their first in 20 years with this lineup, the band charged the State Theatre with cool and electric energy, bringing their platinum hits, funk workouts and their most infectious new single "#Trendin" to the local stage.

The Original 7ven at the State Theatre, 11/5/11
Photo By Steve Cohen
The Original 7ven at the State Theatre, 11/5/11
Photo By Steve Cohen

Decked out in shades, his signature Stacey Adams shoes and a gold lamé suit jacket that would make any Chinese maitre d' blush, Morris Day, and his partner in crime Jerome Benton, finessed the stage and lead the band with synchronized smoothness through a somewhat quick run through of some jams from the band's first couple records, now 30 years old.

The Original 7ven brought a fresh urgency to the music, getting the crowd up off their feet for the entire evening. While the night was most notable for the return of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the Twin Cities own true pioneers of 80's funk, it was Jesse Johnson on a ferocious lead guitar and drummer Jellybean Johnson that really brought the heat and energy to the music, the latter often knocking his cymbals off the stage.

"Everybody get naked!" ordered Morris Day as the Original 7ven still maintained the shtick he and his crew have been doing for years. There was the gliding dance moves, the checking himself out in a mirror, electronic drum pads and even a good ol' fashion booty-off as Jerome brought some of the ladies from the crowd up on stage to move and groove with the band.

The Original 7ven at the State Theatre, 11/5/11
Photo By Steve Cohen
The Original 7ven at the State Theatre, 11/5/11
Photo By Steve Cohen

Though it brought the show to somewhat of a stand still, it was extra impressive that even the huge ego of Morris Day allowed for a chance to let the amazing Jesse Johnson take a elongated guitar solo. Showing off a prowess and chops that would give even his Purple Badness, Prince, a run for his money. Dropping in some of his own solo hits, Johnson lead the crowd in some sing-alongs before the rest the band rejoined him on stage to bring the party to a full steam.

With their newest party anthem, "#Trendin", which arguably could be the first ever song about tweeting, Jerome got everyone to hold up their "phones and pagers" to let the world know online where the party was at.

The Original 7ven at the State Theatre, 11/5/11
Photo By Steve Cohen

Bringing things down to a slow groove, Morris showed his sensitive side with "Gigilos Get Lonely Too," before closing out the night with a dance-off from the fellas in the crowd on stage for "The Bird" and the overflowing funk of "Jungle Love" for a climatic finish.

The Original 7ven at long last delivered, and if there was anything "cool" about their performance Saturday night, it was that the Twin Cities legendary funk masters and the local faithful haven't gotten on much in age, all while not losing their touch.

Critic's Bias:
As a massive fan of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and having never seen the original Time, they could do no wrong really.

The Crowd:
Old school North Minneapolis peeps who continually got props from the stage. What's up Morris, no love for Golden Valley?! Damn!!

Overheard in the Crowd:
"Man, look at all those goofy white people dancing!!"

Random Notebook Dump:
Morris said it'd be a "a little bit nasty, a little bit sexy," while it was a whole lot of both.

For More Photos: See our full slideshow by Steve Cohen.

Get It Up
Wild and Loose
The Stick
Oak Tree
Jerk Out
The Skillet
Be Your Man
Can You Help Me?
Ice Cream Castles
Gigolos Get Lonely Too
The Walk
The Bird

Jungle Love

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