The Motet's "Funk is Dead" 1.27.12
Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Words By J-man
Photos By J-man & Carly Marthis
Not many bands generate as much excitement and buzz as The Motet do in Colorado. The state's resident super-group played what appears to be an annual two night run at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom to commemorate the birthday's of drummer/Motet magic man, Dave Watts and Scott Morrill, one of the owners of the venue. Both Cervantes and The Motet took no shortcuts in making the weekend a fantastic spectacle. Friday night played host to the "Funk is Dead" theme, with Saturday marking the "Best of Halloween." The weekend was a clear reminder of why we as music fans, reside in Denver, CO.
We arrived at the venue late afternoon on Friday for soundcheck. Entering Cervantes I was taken aback by several noticeable changes/upgrades to the venue. Glancing up at the ceiling I noticed directional sound tiles, an impressive light rig and the first of two large screens that were being put up for projections. I was greeted with a warm welcome, typical of The Motet family. The band set up, warmed up and dialed in before seguing into a rehearsal. We ducked out after a few songs and headed to dinner and a friends pre-party. As was the case with many of the folks attending the evening's show, the party began early.
We found ourselves at Cervantes around 9:30 pm. We collected our passes/credentials and made our way into the venue along side several others. The place was buzzing as the East Coast super-group, Kung Fu kicked the evening off in the Ballroom. They were throwing out raging progressive jams that peaked frequently and the combination of Tim Palmieri (The Breakfast) and Todd Stoops (RAQ) was mind-blowing. The place was already near packed and the set felt like a headlining slot. Kung-Fu turned it up to eleven.
The anticipation in the room hit a boiling point as The Motet took the stage to a massive reception. The first high points of the set came with a "Help On The Way>Slipknot>Franklin's Tower." The compositions and arrangements were extensive and well executed. The transitions were smooth with minimal misses and flowing with ease. "Samson and Delilah" followed with sweet tones and harmonies. Other high points of the first set included "Dancing in The Streets" and "Scarlet Begonias." Though not the best set that I have heard from The Motet, there were some great high points and it was well received by the sold out crowd.
The setbreak opened the door for typical hustle and bustle with folks heading is all directions. The party vibe was in full effect with Cervantes looking similar to a building on fire. Thirty minutes later The Motet returned to the stage for a set that would extend into the early morning.
The second set began with "The Other One>Music Never Stopped>Casey Jones." The transitions were decent and it seemed at a couple of points that they were teasing "Dark Star." The lights and projections were very well done and helped to elevate the already incredible atmosphere. One of my favorites, "They Love Each Other" followed with beautiful soul. I sang along with the folks around me in what was one of the highlights of the evening for me personally. "St. Stephan" rang out with the melody boasting a funk swing. The horn section sounded great and the jam slowed down to feature Joey Porter on the talk box. Joey's electronic sounding vocals created a euphoric vibe with people looking on in amazement. It was a great section and an interesting twist to the classic tune.
"Fire on The Mountain" was another high point of the second set. "We Bid You Goodnight" closed the set with a solid three part harmony. There were a couple of vocal flubs that stood out pretty blatantly, but the recovery made up for the misses. The setlist reflected a "China Cat," which was scratched due to time. Some where around 2:15 am The Motet encored with a ripping "Shakedown Street." The energy was so elevated and other than a couple of missed cues by the horn section, the song was a great choice to close the evening.
It was a crazy night of friends, community, music and partying. The Motet consistently brings one of the best party vibes that many have ever experienced. Catching a sold out Motet show at Cervantes is one of the pinnacles of our scene. The euphoria, the atmosphere, the positiveness of the music... For me, it's about as good as it gets.
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