Kyle Hollingsworth Band Feat. Jason Hann 2.27.15

The Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO

Words & Photos By Kevin Hahn (Split Open & Shoot)

Birthdays are usually truly joyous occasions. Feasts are had, toasts are made, and cakes are eaten all in the honor of one human being's existence on this very planet we inhabit. Our pet’s birthdays are even sometimes celebrated here in America, and in a few of my friend’s cases, more so than their very own. But when it is a local musician’s birthday party you are attending, and said musician happens to be one of your absolute favorite keyboard players on planet Earth, one has to imagine that my excitement was hard to contain. Bringing us Coloradans together on a snowy Friday night is not the most difficult of tasks, but to do so in such an entertaining and immensely fun fashion proves that Kyle Hollingsworth has become one of our true hometown heroes. For this show at the always-pleasing Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado, Kyle brought along some of his favorite musical friends (Kim Dawson, Dan Schwindt, Paul McDaniel, Brian McRae) to form a tremendous version of his own evolving solo project. Joining the core group on this night were three members of Kyle’s main gig The String Cheese Incident (Jason Hann, Keith Moseley, Michael Travis) only furthering the fact that Kyle’s “28th” birthday would be a show to remember.

There may be no band that I have seen or listened to more than Kyle’s solo project. Whether he is playing with Garrett Sayers and Dave Watts from The Motet, or the group he assembled on this frigid Friday night, Kyle proves time and time again that no matter who is on stage with him, his unique style of playing and ability to incorporate every member within the jams/songs he creates is masterful to witness. Jumping from organ to keyboard to the clavinet, and also handling lead vocals on most songs, Hollingsworth is one of the jam-band scene's most well rounded musical talents and his song-writing skills continue to grow with each and every number he writes. Luckily, we were able to hear a couple of newer tunes Kyle has wrote recently, including “Stuff” and “Falling Through The Cracks,” with utilizing Kim Dawson’s beautiful voice to perfection. One of my favorite aspects of Hollingsworth’s creative way of writing songs is his intention to sing about everyday things that happen to “ordinary” people. “Stuff” is a piece that Kyle wrote because he was inspired by the insane amount of things his family had accumulated at their home. Another fan favorite, “Rosie” (which included an amazing Star Trek theme jam in honor of Spock during this show), was written about his daughter’s pet spider. Over and over again, we are shown that Hollingsworth is a famous musician touring and playing with some of our scenes biggest acts, but he loves to remind us how “normal” and easy-going he truly is.

Along with the newer material Kyle decided to show off on this particular night, us Boulderites were treated to some funky covers with McRae and McDaniel providing a stellar rhythm section on each and every tune. “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder and “Wanna Get Startin' Something” from the late Michael Jackson had Kim Dawson and Dan Schwindt heavily featured on both. “Moose” (Keith Moseley) treated us screaming fans to his rendition of Jerry Garcia’s hit “Tore Up Over You” while staring directly at his wife who was dancing the night away along with Kyle’s wife, Tania, and Michael Travis in the front row. It felt like a real hometown throw down inside the Fox Theater, with numerous familiar friendly faces beaming directly up at Kyle in his frightening “Paws” shirt. Hollingsworth even started out the night by serving the audience (semi) gluten-free beer infused chocolate cupcakes, which came from Kim and Jake’s Bakery out of Boulder, which were delicious! String Cheese Incident fans were ecstatic when “Boo Boo’s Pic-a-Nik” and “Way That It Goes” came blaring through the Fox’s sound system, while Jason Hann showed off his immense percussion talents on both of these numbers.

This may have been one of the best Kyle Hollingsworth Band shows I have ever been to. From the moment he took the stage, every person who decided to brave the wintery conditions outside was raging harder than I have seen in a good while. Every member of the band on stage seemed like they could feel the dance-party energy, and no tune dared come close to mess with the birthday boy’s vibe. I love the Kyle Hollingsworth Band, and even without the usual Motet boys handling the rhythm section it was once again an amazing night of live music in the great state of Colorado. If you can make it to Kyle’s upcoming mountain town run I highly recommend you do, otherwise look for his brew fest announcement and other summer shows coming here shortly. Because no matter where you see him play or who you see him play with, Hollingsworth knows how to bring the party.

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