MM Presents: Tiger Party feat. Members of Lotus, Octopus Nebula & The Malah 10.24.12

Highland Tap & Burger
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis
Video By Paul Brown

Where can one consistently see members of their favorite bands mixed together in side projects and special live experiences? Denver, Colorado has been the epicenter of this movement for some time and The Highland Tap & Burger, Lohi Productions and MusicMarauders have made a concerted effort to not only continue this trend, but to make it a point to cultivate such mixed musical experiences regularly. Blake Mobley's Tiger Party seemed the perfect fit for the Wednesday Music Showcase as it featured Mike Rempel (Lotus), Fleeb (Octopus Nebula) & Seth Fankhauser (The Malah). Tickets sold for an affordable $10.00 each and included a Left Hand Brewing Company beer, leaving no patron disappointed. As the first substantial snow of the year fell, the project began to unfold for the sold out crowd.

Sitting behind the soundboard, I reflected on how I had gotten to that point. I recalled seeing Lotus for the better part of a decade and seeing my first Octopus Nebula show at The Fillmore in February. Now, not only did we have a sell out on our hands, but I had to run sound for musicians that I both appreciated and had only see perform as a spectator. With the sound quickly dialed it, the band lifted off and the party was underway. Blake lead the charge, calling out changes, cues and digging in deep with some funky work on the keys. Mike subtly crept in and took over with ripping guitar and interesting melodic structure, while the rhythm section of Fleeb and Seth became the clue of the exploration. Seth drumming was tight and extremely fitting for the type of music the project was outputting. Fleeb, who I have seen in several formats, specifically impressed me that evening with strong bass work, funky fills and some mind-bending tones.

As if the evening wasn't already banging, Blake called Ashley Niven up a couple of times for some limited vocal contributions. Though limited, it added that sort of spacey electronic music vibe to the mix. Now, many may consider my opinion on Pete Wall (Particle, Textiles) to be biased from the get go, but let me reassure you, I would love to rip Pete apart and call him out for having a shitty show. Pete very rarely if ever, allows me that opportunity and that night was no different. In fact, quite the contrary to a terrible performance, Pete took the stage, blew my mind, then left me staring with goosebumps and my jaw on the floor. As Pete destroyed, the rest of the musicians looked on smiling and shaking their heads in disbelief.

As the night went on the energy peaked, then peaked again, then peaked some more. Funk turned to jamtronica and each musician did what they do best. It would be great to be able to say one musician stood out above the rest, but there is no way that claim could be made or substantiated. For a mixed group in a "loose" setting, the compositions were tight. The project featured changes and progressions that many actual bands could not properly execute. The night was a huge success! Folks had a blast, the band had a blast and multiple publications and photographers turned out to cover the experience! In addition the event even drew national attention, all surrounding our little neighborhood establishment and scene. The Highland Tap has and will continue to support quality music. If you haven't come down to Denver to check out the Tap and the Wednesday Music Showcases, you probably should. If you're from outside of paradise... I mean Colorado, you should stop in while on your mountain vacation. That night, as is often the case, The Highland Tap & Burger was the place to be.

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