KC & the Sunshine Band will open the UA Presents series on Friday, Oct. 13.


Hurricane Irma whipped and wailed for what seemed like forever as Harry Wayne Casey and about half of his KC & the Sunshine Band members hunkered down in their Miami homes.

“It was a long storm. I thought it was never going to end,” frontman Casey said late last month as the band members cleaned up broken trees and other debris left in Irma’s wake. “It was a big, massive storm. It was so big, it kept going for hours and hours and hours, non-stop, intense winds and rain.”

But luckily for the band and for their Miami neighbors, Irma turned a little west and gave her biggest wallop to the Florida Keys.

And Casey and his band are more ready than ever to hit the road and put the storm behind them.

They pull into Centennial Hall on Friday, Oct. 13, for one of their first post-Irma shows. The concert opens UA Presents’ 2017-18 season and will be the first time we’ve seen the funk dance band since they played Desert Diamond Casino in summer 2013.

The band, famous for its 1970s dance tunes (“Get Down Tonight,” “Shake Your Booty,” “Keep it Comin’ Love,” “That’s the Way,” “Please Don’t Go”), has released a couple of new albums — a collection of 1960s covers and a Christmas album — since we saw them last.

These days, though, they are focusing on releasing singles, which have consistently landed on Billboard’s dance charts. It’s a way for Casey to “get my name back out there a bit.”

“Not trying to sell bunches of records or anything,” he explained. “Just making music. I love what I’m doing, just the touring and stuff, so I’m sharing new music along the way.”

Irma sidetracked the band from working their latest single, “Movin’ Your Body,” into their live show. Casey said they might have it ready by the time they hit the Centennial Hall stage.

But a KC & the Sunshine Band show is not about new music, he is quick to note. Their generationally mixed audiences come to see them do the classics, the funky, hyper-energetic dance hits from the early 1970s through mid-1980s that have become cornerstones and templates for today’s dance music.

“It’s all about the hits, even if it means doing bits and pieces of covers here and there. Keeping it more familiar to everyone,” he said.

“The entire show, the entire time, to look out there and see people smiling and singing, dancing and having a great, crazy time is the most rewarding thing to watch and to be part of.”

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.