Two Nights of Marco Benevento 10.23 & 10.24.13


Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge
Denver, CO

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


Dazzle was buzzing on that particular Wednesday and Thursday as Marco Benevento was in the house with his trio to treat a small number of lucky fans to four sets over the course of the two evenings. Joining Marco on his Denver dates were Dave Dreiwitz (Ween) on bass and Andrew Borger (Norah Jones) on drums. As we were waiting in line for Wednesday's 9:00 PM show, folks piled out of the 7:00 PM show with smiles on their faces and many with signed vinyl in hand. Among the crowd were a handful of our friends including members of Boulder's own Springdale Quartet. Everyone had nothing but good things to say! As we were seated and the lights dimmed, our excitement came to a head. Music Director, Kevin Lee, took the stage to inform the crowd about some great upcoming shows and to threaten the room with the consequences of talking during the performance. The trio took the stage with little to nothing to say before diving into favorites from Marco's Between The Needles & Nightfall and his latest, TigerFace.

Having seen Marco with his trio countless times, there was a noticeable and clear leap in the trio's already solid chemistry and ability. A few songs into the set a relatively obnoxious group entered the room, not having heard the rules and clearly never having been to a listening room. One of the gentleman sat on the edge of the stage as Marco chopped away on the keys. The young man reached up and grabbed Marco's tiger head. As he want to put it on, the audio tech swooped in and snatched it from him. As the show went on the energy in the room climbed and Marco began interacting with the crowd with his quirky antics and comments. Some of my favorites of the set included "Greenpoint," "It Came From You," "Fireworks" and "Limbs of a Pine" featuring the vocals of Rubblebucket's, Kalmia Traver. As Marco danced around the stage he put the tiger head onto Dave who ripped into a heavy slide bass solo. Dave then passed the tiger head to Andrew who tore into the drums.



As the show rounded towards its close, a young woman with dreadlocks danced in the corner with a man who had been sitting in the front row playing air drums. Eventually the young man who had earlier been sitting on the stage returned to the front to dance in front the seated room. Just when I began to ponder "where is Kevin?" he dropped in like a ninja to handle the situation. Overall the evening was fantastic and featured an elevated trio with an appreciative crowd. As we headed out of the front door on to Lincoln St. we scratched our heads at the obscurity of the evening.

Word had gotten out about the previous night's performances as Dazzle packed in with fans hoping to get a table or a seat in what would clearly be a capacity room. We sat at the bar in the Dizzy Room and enjoyed a bottle of vino as friends approached to say hello. Once again, members of Springdale Quartet were in the house! Owner Donald Rossa stopped by the bar for a time before Kevin wandered over to converse about upcoming bookings. As the staff turned over the room from the 7:00 PM show the line stretched out of the door onto the street for the 9:00 PM. Kevin snuck us back through the kitchen to a table waiting on the side of the stage for a different perspective. Just prior to the show a ragtag group of individuals packed into the booth next to us.

The trio took the stage and Marco glanced over with enormous smile on his face. It turns out that the excited crew that sat next to us was Rubblebucket. A few songs into the set Marco called Kal to the stage to provide vocals in person as opposed to the previous evening's vocal tracks. She jumped around with excitement and the band clearly enjoyed her presence. Not only was there not a spot to sit at that point in the evening, but a large crowd had gathered at the door to catch what they could of the stellar performance. My only complaint of the two evenings was the number of repeats within' the sets. An artist like Marco has such a vast catalog of material that it seemed unnecessary to perform repeats when he knows fans will be turning out for multiple performances. That being said, those two nights were a couple of the most enjoyable back to back evenings that we have had in some time.

Carly & J-man's Photo Gallery

www.marcobenevento.com

www.dazzlejazz.com

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