Fareed Haque & MathGames 4.9.11

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis
Audio Recording By Corey Sandoval

News of Fareed Haque's arrival in Denver sent a handful of live music fans into a frenzy. The opportunity to see this world-class guitarist in such an intimate and comforting environment could not be missed. With that being said, I was disappointed to find out that I would only be able to attend one the two evenings. To capture the events in total, however, Taper Corey headed out to Quixote's for two evenings of Fareed's new project, MathGames.

Math Games Live at Quixote's True Blue on April 8, 2011.

Following the first night's show, I was thrilled to hear that MathGames had played on the patio/courtyard stage at Quixote's. We arrived at Quixote's mid-afternoon to meet with Fareed and film him demoing his Moog guitar. Passing through the venue into the courtyard, we knew it would be an interesting mix of patrons that evening as the band in the main room was dressed in all black and screaming. Entering the courtyard, I was overcome with positive energy and smiles. A new deck had been built, the murals were freshly painted, lights had been strewn across from rooftop to rooftop and there was a gentleman setting up a grill. We were greeted by Fareed, went over the logistics of the filming and got to work...

Following the demo, we sat for some conversation and beers with topics ranging from music fans in Denver, to Signal Path, to playing ping pong. Following a little bit of excitement, we headed out for some dinner and a recharge.

Returning to the venue that evening, we were intrigued by the madness and counterculture crew that had now taken over the Grateful Dead bar that I have come to love. It was a short time later that we would find ourselves in the middle of the illuminated courtyard in the cool, breezy Denver night. The smell of Jamaican jerk chicken was in the air, and I wished that I had an appetite. A folk band opened the show creating a really mellow vibe, but at the back of the stage I could see MathGames equipment and visuals screen. I knew it would only be a matter of time before I lost control of my mind.

MathGames Live at Quixote's True Blue on April 9, 2011.

Fareed hit the stage, my jaw hit the floor and before I knew, it the show was over.... Not quite, I remember some of the details, but it was a lot of crazy flashes of time, colors and visuals.

MathGames was tight...and loose...and everything else in-between. Fareed's guitar work was masterful and thrilling. I found myself staring in amazement. His command of the neck and added-flavor of the Moog guitar made for a really unique experience. Next to Fareed for the majority of the show was Frank Zappa guitarist Ray White. Ray's soulful voice and guitar contributions were a welcomed part of the music and added some funk/soul vibes.

Alex Austin (bass) and Greg Fundis (drums) rounded out MathGames with balance and precision. Alex's bass playing is right there to create a low-end groove, as he worked up and down the neck of both the electric and upright bass. Greg's drumming was consistent, danceable and in the pocket. I found myself drawn to Greg's drumming. It was easy to get lost in the changes and charges.

The environment, euphoria and overall output of music had us feeling good. It was interesting to watch folks in chains, makeup and all black wander out of the venue into the courtyard only to be pleasantly surprised and curious about MathGames.

Two sets and a several visuals later, the show wound down. The live painter was collecting his gear, the gentleman recording the two-night run for mastering flipped off his board and folks began to pour out into the street. What a night of music, vibes and stimulation. Looking back over the previous night's set list and comparing the two, I noticed a lot of overwhelming song choices. This was a bit odd since a lot of folks did two nights, and because I thought the group would have a deeper catalog.

MathGames is more than just a band playing in a town near you...they are an experience for all senses. Fareed Haque is one of the greats and should not be overlooked. If you have a chance to catch this group/experience, do not pass it up.

Lastly, Fareed mentioned that the Moog company is working on a Moog jazz guitar for him to utilize. I look forward to the limitless options that will be bestowed upon Fareed as well as hearing how MathGames will progress.


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