The Motet 1.18.13

Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Kevin Hahn

When it comes to the Motet and the funk they are known to bring, I have to consider myself an expert. Having seen approximately 40 shows of all different Motet settings (Cover shows, Best of Halloween, Originals) and maybe three times that of Motet side projects and surprise jam sessions, I know what they are capable of and how great they can be. There is not a band on the scene in our great state of Colorado who can make your feet move the way Garrett Sayers (Bass), Dave Watts (Drums), and Joey Porter (Keys) can and do on a nightly basis. Ryan Jalbert (Guitar), Matt Pitts (Sax), and Gabe Mervine (Trumpet) throw it down via stage left while providing energy and charisma to an already funky ass group. Jans Ingber and Kim Dawson give us stunning vocals and unique harmonies, which only enhances the crowd experience and has a tendency to make jaws drop. Yes, if you haven’t noticed already I have a deep affection for this band. Having lived in Boulder now for 6 years I have become friends with many of the members and just spent a week on Jam Cruise raging with many of them. They are all awesome individuals and even better musicians. So going into Friday night’s show I was pumped to see them bring some of their original material back into the mix, as in my opinion they can get lost in the whole “Cover Band” thing. The lights went down and the funk party’s beginning was right around the corner…

What came next was….or at least in my opinion, was a funky contradictory situation. On one hand the Motet brought us their usual fast paced, funk-driven grooves and on the other it was a show desperately needing some life and energy. Before I dive into the music I must point out that this was the quietest and least crowded Motet show I have ever had the pleasure of attending. The upper balcony of Cervantes was virtually empty with places to sit and relax in abundance. There was hardly a wait at the bar…yes, you read that correctly there was no wait at the bar at Cervantes for the one time in my life. Now, Railroad Earth is in town and people are still getting back from vacation so I can’t fault the venue for not selling this show out. But, I am wondering if the Motet had played a “Best of Halloween” or one of their highly loved cover shows would both nights have sold out easily? Musically, the 1st set of the night was a bit down-tempo and standard for my liking, but we did get a new song or two as it seems more and more likely that there will be a new album coming out sometime this year. In knowing this funk-tastic group I had a feeling the 2nd set would bring the “fire,” and as the clock neared 1 am the band re-took their positions.

Even though the 2nd set didn’t blow my mind or make Cervantes go crazy (like most Motet shows do), it was better and more “dance-able” than the 1st. Jans and Kim were able to get the crowd moving with some awesome harmonies and as per usual Joey Porter brought his funky fingers to play with some killer organ work and great sound effect usage. But for me the night’s MVP has to go to the bass guitar slayer, Mr. Garrett Sayers. Not enough can be said about this man, as his musical talent is only surpassed by his friendly personality. Garrett plays the bass like no one in Colorado, using classical training with funky grooves to create an awesome/eclectic way of bass thumping. He stole the show on this Friday night and I am glad in saying he did so. The night needed a leader or a “Captain de Funk” if you will, and Garrett stepped up to the plate and hit it way out of the park.

Overall this was not my favorite Motet show of all time, but my love for the band and the people in it will not waver in the slightest bit. No one in our great state can bring the funk like the Motet can, and I urge you to check out all of their music if you haven’t already. As always the funk will live on.

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