Boombox 10.5.11

The Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, CO

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock

I listened to several tracks off the new album and was actually pretty excited to see Boombox play. I arrived early to hear Auditory Elements who didn’t really deserve to share the stage with them. I first caught JD Garrick at The Mish this summer and just feel like he comes up short mixing mashups and dubstep. Not to mention that the early crowd didn’t bode well for the rest of the evening either. I watched a girl with a giant X on her hand stumbling around before a bartender had to come over and kick her out for being too intoxicated. When Boombox finally took the stage around 11:00 PM, the crowd was packed in as many were still filtering in through the door. The sweat-soaked youngsters worked themselves up into fervor as the show began.

Boombox consists of Russ Randolph and Zion Rock Godchaux. Yes, that Godchaux. The most approachable thing about their sound is the organic fusion of instrumental and electronic. If you read my posts, you know I have issue with heading out to see electronic acts mainly because it doesn’t jive with my personal taste. Boombox got their hooks into me a long time ago with dance version of Bob Dylan’s classic poem “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie”, and as I previously mentioned, the Grateful Dead connection with Zion Rock being the son of none-other-than Donna Jean. It’s nice to see an electronic act that still has respect for the classics that made music what it is today. Their new album, Downriver Electric, is an enjoyable combination of soulful singing and dance-oriented beats. However, it would take most of their show until we were treated to a couple of tracks from the new album. In fact, the majority of the show featured the duo focusing on slick riffs with heavy beats and staying away from their more song-orientated material. Songs like “Boogeyman” and “Round and Round” made it into the rotation which represented a nice workup of some classic tunes.

Boombox is a liquid dance party that focuses on a grooving downtempo structure to their shows. Elements of funk and rock mixed cleanly with the electronic fundamentals to create a bouncy and layered show. For organic music fans, it can be hit or miss, but their show at The Aggie delivered exactly what was advertised. I could have done with more vocal-based songs, but overall, I was impressed with the party they threw. My highlight from the show was the eloquently performed ”Headchange”. Songs such as this intrigue me. Clearly they have talent and know how to get the kids hungry for the untz, but by adding a bit of subtlety and some solid lyrics, they create an avenue to electronica for me. I’m glad I made it down and was happy with the performance. I could have done with a couple more tracks like “Headchange”, but hey, it’s a dance party.

Final Note: To the girl with the hula-hoop. Don’t bring a hula-hoop to a sold-out show… it’s just selfish.

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