MM Presents: This Must Be The Band, Zoogma & Moksha feat. Hartswick, Apfelbaum & Skerik 3.29.13

Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man
Video By Carly Marthis

The mad scramble was in place out front of Cervantes as folks displayed an array of emotions ranging from excitement for the show, to complete disappointment at the news that This Must Be The Band's performance of Stop Making Sense was sold out. Tickets to Zoogma & Moksha at The Other Side sold quickly as the demand for music remained and it was a fantastic option. That evening I was joined by the person who turned me onto the Talking Heads a couple of decades ago, my father. Inside the venue, the energy was through the roof as Moksha took the stage with a very special horn section that included Peter Apfelbaum (The Hieroglyphics Ensemble, Trey Anastasio Band), Jen Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band) & Skerik (Garage A Trois)! From the first few jamming measures, the band displayed its funky chops for the Denver crowd, which grew in number immediately. With the music yet to start in the Ballroom, The Other Side swelled to what felt like a near sold out capacity. Harmonizing horns led to a fantastic exchange of solos from Jeremy Parks (Guitar) and Brian Triola (Organ). The rhythm section of John Heishman (Bass) and Pat Gray (Drums) laid the foundation for some deep groves and excellent compositions. The mainstay sax, Sam Lemos, meshed well with the horn section, but his vocals at time seemed to almost contrast the musical output. The jams were fluid, the venue was packed and the band seemed excited as the night went on.

In the Ballroom, Chicago's This Must Be The Band, hit the stage to the delight of the sold out crowd, and the antics began. Taking on such a reputable and coveted performance, such as The Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense, is no easy feat. Denver turned out with high hopes and was not disappointed as the band hit almost every cue with attention to detail. Charlie Otto's vocals, guitar playing as well as his general look and demeanor fit so well with the image that most folks have of David Byrne, though he seemed a touch timid as the crowd cheered on with encouragement. With every expected track, the crowd sang along loudly and danced excitably. The entire band played their parts with fitting focus, as even the female vocalists gave off the vibe that they were there to get down. Props came and went in conjunction with the flow of the concert film, as the production staff nailed their visual cues. The show had the feel of a theatrical performance, more so than a concert and it was clear that it was well rehearsed and taken very seriously, as it should have been! Congratulations to This Must Be The Band on selling out the 800 person Ballroom!

Back on The Other Side, jamtronica powerhouse Zoogma closed the evening with high peaks and contrasting lows that moved the crowd as the music commanded. The room was packed and the crowd so into the band's tight output that it had the vibe of a homecoming or raging house party. The lights flashed brightly and the layers stacked up and came crashing down with precise timing and great musical intuition. "Who the fuck is Zoogma?" you may be asking yourself, to which I would respond, "you're missing out." That night approximately 400 folks knew who Zoogma was, and if they didn't they do now. Congrats to Cervantes on yet another successful evening and one of Denver's best mid-sized clubs! As we departed a touch before the evening's close, I had to coax my father to the door as he kept saying "I really like these guys..." I thought my dad would dig This Must Be The Band, and found it odd when he was most intrigued by Zoogma. The evening as a whole was an absolute blast!

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