The long awaited two-night run of Game 7 was billed as the MusicMarauders Two Year Anniversary Celebration. Having been writing for MM for close to a year now, which has been a great experience overall, I was very excited to join in the festivities. Writing for MusicMaraudes was just one of my qualifications that helped land me the Camp Counselor position. Since then I’ve been doing a lot of coverage for both Summer Camp and MM.
I arrived early enough to catch a bit of Wisebird’s opening set. They were a foursome of wide brim hat wearing, bearded jammers who looked like they walked straight out of a Kerouac novel. Wisebird dabbled in bluesy song structures with a rockabilly twang. I would say the most striking thing about their playing was the distinct cleanliness of their sound. While not necessarily incredibly complex the music of Wisebird was tight and well thought out. They were an interesting juxtaposition for the night’s main event. I headed backstage with J-man for a quick interview with Magner before they took the stage around midnight.
This was the third outing of supergroup Game 7. A jam hybrid with Araon Magner of the Disco Biscuits, Michael Kang from String Cheese Incident, Particle’s rhythm section Darren Pujalet and Eric Gould, as well as Pete Wall from the Motet. Playing together for only the third time live this nascent collaboration showed incredible promise. All of the members save Pete Wall (who is a member of The Motet whom I wrote about in my prevoius post.) have played at Summer Camp in one band or another. As fans filtered in, many from STS9’s Fillmore show, shouts of Kang and Magner could be heard from the enthusiastic crowd. They opened with an original jam entitled Multiball 2. Here is the rest of their setlist.
SET I: Multiball 2, Chicago> Mike’s Outro, Run Like Hell, La Femme, Time To Pretend, Howl At The Moon, Skyscrapper> MIA Jam> Da Funk> Feeling Older, Mind Over Matter, Neck Romancer, Come Together
ENCORE: Multiball 1
(Taken from onstage setlist.)
Game 7 was a fusing of styles as diverse as the members who made up the group. With the often-subtle mannered Michael Kang playing bandleader he passed around the jam like a hot potato. Scantily clad Bisco chicks and a random girl dressed in a bear suit danced passionately as the band eased into their two-plus hour set. It would have been easy for them to be an untz-fueled monster given the Particle and Bisco backgrounds, but honestly they were a fluid organic musical experience with an electronic edge. Their version of Pink Floyd’s Run Like Hell was an inspired take with a trance-y bridge before they went right back into the tune to close. They performed a jam on MGMT’s Time To Pretend, which had been played the night previous. However given the fact that they are a newly assembled endeavor still working on original material it was to be expected. The show flowed quickly with covers from Air, Daft Punk, as well as a version of Disco Biscuits’ Neck Romancer.
The show was incredibly balanced and it really displayed the musical prowess of everyone involved. It’s collaborations like this that reaffirm my faith in the jam scene. Unlike other musical realms, the amazing talent of the members of this community allows them to play with anyone, anytime. On a Saturday night at Quixote’s we witnessed some serious musical ability. Most notable of which may have been Pete Wall who seemed to blast off about midset. He brought a new dynamic to his sound and was virtually evolving right before a captivated audience. Magner did what he does best all night killing it on the keys and adding his own sonic flair to the sound. Pujalet was a human metronome on the skins with Gould giving a pinpoint precision to his bass playing. They bookended the show with their Multiball 2 jam finishing around 2:30 AM. As the crowd spilled out in the streets I smiled to myself knowing that I got to see this sick lineup at the beginning. They have so much raw potential that I can only hope that they continue to find time to play together in the future. Happy Anniversary to MusicMarauders and I look forward to another amazing year of live music coverage.
What a way to start the New Years Run…Normally I see 1 band for 3 nights for New Years, but this one was gonna be different. Instead I’d be seeing 4 bands over 3 nights. One of those bands and one of those nights was one of the best New Year’s Eve that has ever taken place anywhere in the world, but more about that in a later post
What I am here to talk to you about to day is a certain Mr. Troy Andrews, or as you may know him, Trombone Shorty. I am not super familiar with the brass band jam scene, but all I know is Trombone Shorty is the BEST trombone player I have ever seen in my life. On Wednesday and Thursday December 28th and 29th Trombone Shorty and his band, Orleans Avenue absolutely obliterated the Bluebird Theater in Denver.
I was lucky enough to know each of the 2 opening bands. The first night, Kinetix. The second night, the Fox Street Allstars. Wednesday night Kinetix was amazing, and to be honest, I was shocked. These guys were working with a new drummer and we all know that if the drums aren’t working, nothing is going to be working…to my surprise though, George, the new guy, not only learned the music perfectly (minus one hitch in the night…but hey, no one is perfect) but he CRUSHED IT!!! They sounded so good, they looked so good, one of the best Kinetix shows I can remember, and I’ve seen these guys about 150 times. Check out this sweet picture compliments of Kit Chalberg and Listen Up Denver, a great local music blog, check them out at www.listenupdenver.com
The second night was the Fox Street All Stars turn. Just another installation of a local band wreaking sonic havoc upon the souls of the unknowing…I know, that was little out there, but basically they played a heck of a show. Things are starting to come together for those guys…they are regular touring partners with the New Mastersounds, they continue to play great supporting slots at local venues, and they are about to get back in the studio to put another album together. Their new songs are awesome. Take it or Leave it is probably my favorite. It’s a super funky upbeat tune and the first lyrics are “I know you like to think your shit ain’t stinky, but it’s smellin’ pretty bad,” so you get the gist of what the tune is about. This show was phenomenal and their sound was a great fit for the Trombone Shorty crowd, so if you like him, check these dudes out. Here’s a couple more pictures, this time from Tim Dwenger at Listen Up…
Moving onto the star of both shows, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Man, they were amazing. I would love to see these guys get a set a Summer Camp this year. So much energy so many influences. Sure it’s a brass band but they are influenced by jazz, hip hop, and they even do some light yamming. Even if you aren’t into this genre, you need to see these guys perform. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Thanks again to Tim Dwenger at Listen Up for some great shots!
The date was Saturday, August 10th. The place was Fort Collins, CO. And the show was the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Dear lord. If anyone can show me a better husband and wife guitar duo, I’ll buy you a late night ticket to SCAMP 2012…While Tedeschi Trucks was not the only act to play that night, they were certainly the headliners of the Bohemian Nights Music Festival held for FREE by the city of Fort Collins, Colorado. What a beautiful thing. Probably the best slide guitar player in the world and its free. Just sayin, all other cities out there…
Anyway, I was there not only for Tedeschi Trucks, but also for my buddies, the Fox Street Allstars who had the opportunity to open for the big guns. I’m sure I’ve mentioned Fox Street before, but if I haven’t go check them out here: www.foxstreetallstars.com Rumor has it they’ll be touring this winter with another SCAMP artist that I can’t really talk about so if you see their name on a bill make sure you get a ticket. If you need any convincing I’m pretty sure Derek Trucks was on the side of the stage for the performance and I’m pretty sure I saw his mouth move in the shape of “Holy shit, these guys are good, we better bring the thunder…” I could easily be mistaken.
Whether or not I was, bringing the thunder is exactly what the Tedeschi Trucks Band did. I’m not sure, but I think there were 11 people on stage playing and it was awesome. Derek, as I mentioned, is probably the best slide guitar player in the world…so much control and such an interesting right hand technique…I hear he just kind of picked up the guitar at 5 and just knew how to play it…probably why he was touring with and opening for the Allman Brothers at age 14. If you don’t listen to Derek Trucks, check him out. His wife, Susan Tedeschi is no guitar slouch herself, mostly strumming and singing with the voice of an angel who loves to drink, she has the ability and often does rip great blues guitar solos. Together these two make some amazing music and I for one am super jealous of the musical opportunities that will no doubt be available to any and all of their children they may have or will have…but I digress. In addition to an amazing show, the technical side of it was super cool as well. With a great light rig, and the sun setting just before they took the stage, we were all treated to a wonderful visual display, I’ve included a pic…I especially liked the hanging LED strips…
The show was amazing; the horn players each had their time to shine, each back up vocalist got an opportunity to sing lead, a very democratic band if I’ve ever seen one. Most of the songs they played came off their new album, Revelator, which I’ve had stuck in my CD player for a few months straight now…If you ever get the chance to see Derek Trucks, even if you aren’t into his music, go see him play. In my opinion, it’s just phenomenal to watch anyone who is great at whatever it is they are doing, and as one of the greatest guitar players of our generation, I’d have to say Derek Trucks falls into that category.
Denver Music Scene, God I Love You
So I want to tell you all about 3 very different shows that I got a chance to see recently and just beg Summer Camp to put all these peeps on the bill for next year. First up is Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Good lord. Now I don’t know if you have ever seen Grace, but that is exactly what she is made of. Amazingly beautiful and classy, Grace has an energy about her that makes you go, woah…Now, if you have ever heard Grace Potter you already know this…her talent and voice surpass even her beauty. It is really amazing. She has so much power inside her that she can unleash on the crowd any time she wants. Please Summer Camp Staff…if there is anyway to get Grace on the bill, DO IT!!! Give her a night set and let her throw down!
Ok, enough of that, sorry, I just get really worked up when I start talking about Grace Potter. Anyway, show number 2, some good friends and local heroes, Yamn, an amazing band from Denver, has played Summer Camp before. These guys are really starting to make some moves professionally in terms of the quality of venue they play, the number of people they draw, and more. The first time I heard these guys play I was like, did Umphrey’s and Sound Tribe have a baby? Here is some clips from their New Years show up in Breckenridge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GB2xZvmpR4 I know if you see these guys, and they tour with UV Hippo some times, that you will not be disappointed. They have a wonderful lighting director named Pauly who like Jefferson Waful is learning to paint the music with his lights and bring another element to the show. I got to catch a great rendition of I Am the Walrus at the show I went to. Seeing a band like this come up is really cool. To meet their fans who support them like no other. One of their biggest fans and my good friend Mackenzie Moore runs CAM Showear, clothes for shows…Yamn is the kind of band that brings people like her out of the wood work. Check out her show clothes here: http://www.facebook.com/cam.showear. As I get more and more into music, it is the local scene and the first fans of bands that really intrigue me. I think it is easy to see why people are big fans of big bands. But to “know” so early in a band’s career that they are the band for you, latching on and supporting them as friends and as musicians, it is a special community to be a part of. If you have a band like that in your neck of the woods, tell Summer Camp about them cuz all these kids deserve a shot.
Finally, just last week, I got to see Mr. Eric Johnson. If you don’t know who this guys is, you should. Perhaps you know his most famous song, Cliffs of Dover…I didn’t but I did know this guy had chops. With just a 3 piece he made so much music. I saw some chord shapes on the guitar I have never seen before. I think I have a new guitar hero though. His stylings were really tasteful. Beautiful chords, amazing solos…I got a bit of an Umph vibe off him and I would not be surprised at all if it turns out Jake was down with Eric Johnson.
Anyway, just wanted to let you all know about a couple shows I had seen. I’m heading out to see Styx and Yes tonight at Red Rocks, and August should be a good month for music too. Until next time…