They may be without their name but the band formerly known as The Time still has their soul. The group reunited on stage at Club Nokia Wednesday night under their new name The Original 7Ven. All of the original band members including Morris Day, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Jellybean Johnson, Jerome Benton, Monte Moir and Jesse Johnson were present, and they brought the noise and the funk to Downtown Los Angeles.
Thirty years after their formation in Minneapolis, the group still has the appeal to bring fans to their feet, and leave them standing there for an entire show. Despite a few sound issues, the performance was flawless.
After being introduced by TV and radio personality Donnie Simpson, the band performed a high energy two hour set of their classic hits such as "C.O.O.L", "Get It Up", "777-9311" and "Jungle Love". The rock-infused funk that filled the room allowed the crowd to take a trip down memory lane.
The highlight of the evening came when lead guitarist Jesse "FunkFunk" Johnson took center stage and serendaded the audience with a guitar solo, performing "Free World", Can You Help Me?" and "I Want To Be Your Man". He commanded the stage with a subtle brilliance that gave the crowd chills and reminded them as to why he's claimed the title of one of the greatest guitar players to ever touch the instrument.
The show was the first live performance by the group as The Original 7Ven. Their latest lalbum, Condensate, was released in stores on Tuesday.