Textiles feat. Pete Wall & A.C. Lao 9.7.12

Appaloosa Grill
Denver, CO

Words & Video By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis & J-man

The colorfully illuminated stage was set for Textiles feat. Pete Wall & A.C. Lao (Michal Menert) at Appaloosa Grill on the corner of Welton and The 16th Street Mall. Horse-drawn buggies passed by as folks took in a perfect Friday evening in Denver. As many folks were wrapping up over at First Friday on Santa Fe, Textiles came to life inside the dimly lit restaurant/bar. Folks made their way to the front of the stage to get a better view of what they were hearing and as the first set eased its way into the groove, D-minus dropped the first sample of the evening in the form of a funk and soulful "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."

Pete's heavy saxophone flew to the forefront of the arrangements, with Doug Tapia providing some fantastic fills and a couple of impressive solos off the bat. That night Textiles would welcome a guest rhythm section consisting of Austin Hein & A.C. Lao (Michal Menert). Austin's bass playing was strong and very fitting to the overall approach of Textiles. As Colossus (D-minus' midi control panel) and his laptop generated the beats, A.C. listened briefly before jumping into the track, adding a much needed organic layer to the mix. Forty-five minutes later, the first set of the evening concluded.

Following a short break, some mingling and re-fueling, Textiles returned to the stage. The second set began with almost too mellow of a groove, triggering the chatty bar crowd to get louder before eventually tuning into the flow of Textiles. Pete switched between tenor, soprano and flute throughout the set creating a dynamic vibe and literally ripping up each instrument. On the right side of the stage the guest rhythm section meshed wonderfully and with a professional level of comfort. Granted there were a few moments of stumbling and catch up, but who could blame the assembled group of talent? Towards the end of the second set, D-minus dipped into Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." Forty-five minutes after it began, set two was in the books.

Set three began with "Twin Peaks" and Pete on an old key chain that generated analog sound effects. It was clearly communicated to the crowd that the third set would be weird. Wild sounds, bright tones and experimental jams made for a fitting approach to the final set of the evening. Not always my favorite, but one of the clear highlights of the show was Radiohead's "National Anthem" with Pete mocking the vocal lines on tenor. Towards the end of the set, D-minus ran out of beats triggering a more organic jam between the remaining members to close the show. The final composition was a heater. It was loose, jazz style instrumentation that flowed perfectly and was the perfect choice to close the evening. The three sets reflected a unique style and some incredible musical points at an establishment that seemed a perfect fit for a project of this sort!

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