Juno What 10.9.11
Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Words & Photos By J-man
Video By Carly Marthis
There was a lot of hype leading up to this event. Following the release of their new album, Late Night Live, and their new music video Juno What returned to Cervantes in Denver, CO. The night would be captured from many angles; there was a film crew with several hi-def video cameras, several photographers and then there was us. We found ourselves backstage preparing for what I knew would be one of my more awkward moments since starting MusicMarauders. I was about to take off my pants and interview Joey Porter, Dave Watts and Steve Watkins. As Carly pulled out the camera, several folks poured into the small room. The room got quiet and everyone's attention was on us for the interview. There was no turning back...
Following the interview, I picked up the remaining pieces of my pride and we headed out into the Ballroom to join our friends. Around 11:45pm Juno What took the stage in crisp white matching track suits. The venue was packed. Two large screens on either side of the stage came to life as did the two pyramids of screens on stage... the night was under way.
They wasted no time in digging into some nasty funk shredding. The crowd reciprocated with an all out get down from the first note. Song after song brought more grooves and more energy. The duel Junos/keys combined with duel talkbox made for an extreme (tasteful early 80s) dance party. Joey's grooves and exploration in the pocket was near perfect and was complimented by Steve's raging licks and fills. With Dave Watts on the kit and samples, the energy was almost mind-blowing. There is no other band that does what Juno What does in terms of high energy dance/funk music.
Looking around the room I saw people dancing their asses off. The giant disco ball made for a euphoric and fitting feel for the evening and illuminated the room with glimmering light. The screaming keys tore through the humid air and entered the collective ears of Cervantes. Juno What was at the top of their game.
They played one long set that included many of their best tunes including "Shameless", "Ain't Afraid to Work", "Body Double", "What You See is What You Get" as well as a cover of "Electric Avenue". Guests included Ryan Jalbert (Motet, Dubskin), Garrett Sayers (Motet), Kim Dawson (Urban Method) and Gabe Mervine (Motet). Every single one of the guests was at the top of their game. Ryan, Garrett and Gabe's solos were destructive and captivating, while Kim Dawson won over the crowd with her beautiful vocal contribution.
The night wound down around 2:30am, leaving the packed crowd thrilled with the experience. That night re-affirmed my love for Juno What and my love for the Denver music scene. There are so many nights of music in Colorado, but that one stood out above the rest...
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