KC shakes booties in Tulalip

KC and the Sunshine Band took the stage to the sound of pre-recorded thunder Wednesday night, even as a cloudy sky and cool temperatures threatened the real thing.

With tiny pools of water in the seats and ponchos being handed out at the door, the weather may have discouraged some from coming out to the Tulalip Ampitheatre. The venue was filled to about half-capacity.

It never actually rained during the show, however, and the gloomy forecast didn’t keep Harry Wayne “KC” Casey from getting down last night.

Churning through his Miami-born disco hits, the singer swiveled and danced through a 90-minute set that would have worked as well inside the casino as it did outside.

The group shot to fame in the mid-1970s with disco hits like “Boogie Shoes,” “That’s the Way I Like It” and “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty.”

Last night, KC took the stage urging the crowd to do just that – “Shake! Your! Booty!” — before launching the Vegas-styled performance.

Throughout the show, sequins glittered in the lights and gusts of wind pushed smoke from the stage. KC and his four dancing girls went through near-constant costume changes.

Those girls didn’t necessarily do KC any favors. The singer is a bit stout and a bit bald; in other words, every bit of his 57 years. Dancing next to women about half his age emphasized it.

He knew what he lacked, though, making up for it with humor. He explained to young faces in the crowd that he was their mother’s version of ‘N Sync, and fessed up to his age.

“This is what Justin Timberlake’s going to look like in 30 years,” he said. “What the hell happened?”

Later, he mentioned he quit smoking and put on 30 pounds.

“I got on the scale; it said, ‘One at a time,’ ” he joked.

When the crowd of about 1,300 wasn’t laughing, they were generally dancing. The energized set kept pushing them to their feet. As his 10-piece band spat out horn lines and ripped through guitar riffs during the 90-minute set, KC delivered his own sunshine.

Earlier in the night, Marysville resident Vanessa Thompson opened the show with a 45-minute set.

The crowd warmed to Thompson fairly quickly. Within 20 minutes, she was earning healthy applause and drawing eyes. Granted, it’s hard to say what turned more heads: her very short dress or her very big voice.

Thompson, 23, split her set between original tracks from her self-released album, “Vanessa,” and Billboard hits by Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce.

Generally, her originals felt cut from the same cloth as those pop divas. Time will tell if the local ever reaches their international status. For now, she’s an admirable mimic.

Reporter Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455 or arathbun@heraldnet.com.

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