Post-Phish: Dave Watts & Friends

Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis

Quixote's came to life late, around 12:30 am. The Phish show in Commerce City had just concluded and was by all accounts "epic." Members of The Motet Dave Watts, Joey Porter, Garrett Sayers, Dan Schwindt and Gabe Mervine are used to playing to sold out/packed theaters. On that Saturday night in Denver, they began with not one person in the room. That quickly changed with the realization that the music had begun. As well outside of Quixote's, the buses from Phish had arrived. A couple of songs into the set and the venue was already more packed than the previous evening's post-Phish show.

Excitement filled the air as friends and acquaintances hugged and got down. The music was funky and contained an element of pseudo-jazz. As much as I appreciate The Motet, their stripped down side-projects seem to have more of an appeal to me. Maybe it's the same high level of musicianship without the large-scale production of The Motet. Maybe it's the more intimate, more improvised focus of the group that appealed to me. Regardless, what we experienced that night at Quixote's was an absolute funk dance party. People let loose with fury as Dan ripped the guitar, with limited expression on his face. On the opposite side of that spectrum, Garrett looked as if he was birthing a bass baby. The near pain and difficulty of his craft was clear by the look on his face and the consistent complexity of his output.

In the courtyard, Dimitri's Ascesnt welcomed Eric Gould (Particle) on bass. As the night ventured past the 2:00 am hour, Mike Gordon (Phish) showed face once again. This time in red skinny jeans, Mike was ready to prowl. It was interesting to see the music scene go full circle with Eric attending the Phish show earlier in the evening at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, then Gordo turning out and watching Eric at Quixote's. Though the bar had stopped serving, the intoxication of the crowd seemed to increase within' the final hour or so of the show. Dave Watts is one of the best/most reputable drummers in Colorado and that night in Denver the music was on par with everything that I have seen from The Motet's side-projects. This core group of musicians outputs some of the highest quality of music on our scene. When the name Dave Watts or The Motet is tied to a bill, you can trust that it is indeed not to be missed.

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