Zapp brings funk to Phenix City on Saturday

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 12, 2012 

  • IF YOU GO

    What: Zapp, with special guests Lady V and Lady T

    When: Saturday, gates open 7 p.m. EDT and show is 8 p.m.

    Where: Phenix City Amphitheater, 508 Dillingham Street

    Cost: $10, free for guests 12 and younger

    Details: 334-291-4719

    Reminder: No pets or coolers; concessions will be sold (including beer and wine)

When Lester Troutman says Zapp will be here rain or shine, he means it.

The popular funk act was scheduled to perform at the Phenix City Amphitheater last year. They arrived in town and were greeted by rain in the hours before the concert.

When showtime arrived, something funny happened. The rain stopped. The music went on as planned, though some fans likely stayed home, assuming the show had been canceled.

Troutman, leader of Zapp, wants fans to know he'll perform in Phenix City Saturday -- no weather disclaimer necessary.

"God is in control of this. He wants us to come back," Troutman said.

Zapp rose to fame in the '80s with hits like "More Bounce to the Ounce" and "Computer Love." At its earliest stages, Zapp centered around three of the five Troutman brothers: Lester, Larry and Roger.

The band took a tragic turn in 1999, when police said Larry shot his brother Roger in an apparent murder-suicide. Larry was initially a percussionist for the band, but later took on a manager role.

Roger popularized the "talk box" sound effect that he used in songs ranging from "Computer Love" to the 2Pac hit "California Love." It continues to influence current recording artists, namely those who experiment with effects like auto-tune.

"Wanting to be like somebody -- I think that's amazing," Lester Troutman said.

When he's performing a concert, is there a moment that Lester dedicates to Roger?

"The whole show," he said. "He'll never be replaced. We'll just continue to do what we're doing."

That means not losing sight of the energy that's helped the act sustain a loyal fan base that continues to grow.

"When we come to town, we'll be bringing definitely a very, very high energy show," Lester Troutman said.

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