Tiger Party 6.6.13

Denver, CO

Words By Brad Yeakel
Photos By J-man

With a few of my best friends, I ventured out for a Thursday evening in Denver. An evening of firsts, we took our first ride on the west line of Denver's light rail, and went to Armoury on Larimer St. for the first time, and we got to see the first installment of a Thursday night Tiger Party residency. Armoury had the feel of a regular downtown pub, but with the advantage of a decent stage. The atmosphere was friendly, the bartenders generous, the specials decent, and the music was great. Blake Mobley's Tiger Party (a rotating cast of musicians) took the stage shortly after 10:30, and played a show of danceable grooves that covered ground from funky to electro with purpose and style.

Featuring a dj (Craig Henevald) and saxophonist (Pete Wall) rather than the typical guitar, the evening's "Party" had a different flavor from the previous incarnations. A slightly jazzier feel crept in, but with DJ Craig Henevald adding samples, there was an element that reminded me of Pete Wall's other project, Textiles. Pete's solos ranged from soulful to psychedelic and occupied the space where a guitar normally took the lead. It was a rare example where I didn't feel the lack of guitar inhibited the music. Drummer Seth Frankhauser laid solid grooves and kept the party moving beneath Fleeb Thomas' bass-lines. One of my favorite parts of the show was the jam on the riff from Chic's "Good Times" (also used in Rapper's Delight).

The band also backed a female vocalist from Florida, Ashley Niven. She added a dimension to the Tigers that I didn't expect. It was a refreshing change of pace from the dance party, and helped to show the versatility of this ensemble. When her piece was done, the dance party resumed, and the night grew late to the sounds of bass, synth, samples, horns, and drums. Blake, a truly talented keyboard player, had organized a virtual Everyone Orchestra of local talent. While this project was certainly an entertaining one, and one I will continue to see regularly, I was left wanting for Blake to organize another project with a permanent lineup, one where they have the opportunity to dig deeper, and explore further. All in all, good things were happening at Armoury, free music from great musicians, a friendly atmosphere, and strong drinks... I had no doubts the same would be true for every Thursday the rest of June, and the best part, it's free.

Don't miss next week's lineup... It looks like a good one!

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