Particle & Garrett Sayers 5.7.12

Roger Waters After-Party
Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By Brian Rempel (
BiggerGuyProductions) & J-man
Audio By Corey Sandoval (
Kind Recordings)

Following a Monday night Roger Waters "The Wall" show in Denver, Jamtronica pioneers, Particle would take the stage at Quixote's True Blue for an after-party that would celebrate the music of Pink Floyd. Quixote's filled in nicely as The Garrett Sayers Trio's opening set came to a close. The GST has made a name for themselves performing classic instrumental hip-hop tracks via their Wednesday residencies at The Highland Tap. That night Garrett would be working overtime, sitting in with Particle in place of Eric Gould who was unable to make the gig. For many the Particle show would mark the second show of the evening and the bar was set high.

Particle Live at Quixote's True Blue on May 7, 2012.

Set I: Pigs on the Wing (Part I) > Launchpad, Have A Cigar > Young Lust > Elevator > Below Radar > Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)

Set II: Money > Pigs (Three Different Ones), Fearless > Triple Threat, One Of These Days > Pigs on the Wing (Part II)

Encore: Sun Mar 11

Particle opened the first set with a brief "Pigs on The Wing (Part One)" that went rig into one of Particle's hardest hitting tunes, "Launchpad." Darren Pujalet's drumming took off with the rest of the band following behind with fury! Ben Combe (guitar) tore into the electric as if it were the closing song of the evening and Steve Molitz (keys) was their to add some tasty effect-laden chops to the composition. It was interesting to watch Garrett in the Particle setting. He fit in with ease and it was clear that he had been studying the material.

From Wish You Were Here, "Have A Cigar" would mark the first full Pink Floyd song of the evening. Particle, more so than any other band, does the music of Pink Floyd extreme justice. Their approach to the music, their airy jams, the exploration of spacey tones all make Particle one of the more qualified bands to cover such essential songs. Half way through "Have A Cigar," Particle became Particle again before going into "Young Lust" from The Wall. Ben stepped up once again for a ripping solo before Pete Wall took over and dismantled his Soprano Sax. The structure of the Floyd material was great, but the solos were mind-blowing.

The tempo slowed down just enough for Steve's signature lines on "Elevator" to shine through as the band transitioned yet again. The song was delightfully dark and menacing. The combination of Darren and Garret's rhythm section coupled with Ben and Steve's melody work and effects created a wild vibe within' Quixote's. Then it happened... Tension built, slowly and as it did it was interesting to see the physical response of those in attendance. Then, things got dancable as Steve took over, creating some captivating tones and utilizing some interesting modal progressions. Darren's drums took over and guided the jam into "Below The Radar." The solos passed around again before a wild sax solo led the transition into "Another Brick in The Wall (Part Two)" to close the first set.

There was a buzz backstage as everyone felt really good about the material and the Monday crowd. The band took the stage for the second set as fans flocked to the front. Dark Side of The Moon's "Money" opened the second set to the delight of the Denver crowd! Once again, it cannot be overstated how well Particle handles the music of Pink Floyd and "Money" was further proof. The guitar work of Ben Combe was far superior to anything that I had previously witnessed him output. He impressed Quixote's with his tasteful destruction before the band transitioned into "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" from Pink Floyd's 1977 Animals.

Garrett stepped to the front of the jam as the band filled in around him before dropping into Roger Waters' lyrics. The jam in the middle of "Pigs" was fluid and characteristic of Pink Floyd's exploration of space. Pink Floyd's underground hit "Fearless" followed, creating a mellow and pure vibe before getting a little chaotic and transitioning as if a spacecraft were taking off, into "Triple Threat." Steve attacked the keys with melodic precision before Darren backed him on the drums and the rest of the band dove in. Once again Ben's guitar playing stole the show as he traded licks with Steve. Then Pete took off on tenor sax, displaying his range and clearly impressing his part-time band mates. The middle/end of the song brought a massive jam. Twenty minutes after it began, "Triple Threat" came to a close.

"One of These Days," off of Pink Floyd's 1971 album Meddle, opened with heavy minor progressions and paused just briefly for some insane effects. Following more wailing guitar from Ben, they transitioned into "Pigs on The Wing (Part II)" to close the second set with calm, relaxing vibes. Introductions around from Steve led to a quick second backstage before Particle's return for "Sun Mar 11." Steve's breakdown halfway through the song, reminded me of why I love Particle. The synth heavy groove built up with horrifying tones before chopping through heavy distortion and tonal alteration, resolving to the songs characteristic melody. What followed was a collective electro-groove that had Quixote's in a frenzy.

What an incredibly well-rounded show from a band that once dominated our ever-expanding scene. Particle has taken a sort of back seat on touring and gigs like that evening at Quixote's have become something of a special treat. The band performed as well as ever and it sounds as if Ben Combe has returned as the full time guitarist to the guitar-riddled band. Garrett Sayers filled in on bass as a true professional who reflected a study of the music that it respectfully commanded. The energy was high and music fans turned out in full force on a Monday night in Denver to support one of the scene's most coveted and clearly not forgotten treasures.

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