Tauk & Consider The Source 10.16.15

Fox Theater
Boulder, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)

I've been hearing about Consider the Source for a couple of years. Saturday night I decided to venture out to Boulder and see what I'd been missing, as the band provided support to Tauk. As we entered the venue, CtS was already on stage, and I was immediately impressed with their chops. Guitarist, Gabriel Marin, was a sight to behold as he dominated a dual-necked fret-less guitar. His style was a barrage of notes that danced skillfully through various cultural influences. The best description I could muster was "world prog." In addition to Marin's inspired licks, Jeff Mann's rhythmic prowess was undeniable. Just maintaining a groove amongst the chaotic flurry of melodic madness was quite the feat, but the glue of the organization was provided by an absolute monster of a bass player... John Ferrara. Ferrara confidently thumped out some of the dirtiest and most impressive low end I've ever heard. His style was unique, but showed influences of two of the finest players in the world... Claypool and Wooten. Wow. Kid was incredible.

When Tauk took the stage, I wasn't sure what to expect. My only previous experience with them was hearing they were on the bill with jam rock favorites, Umphrey's McGee for a tour. As showtime hit, the lights went out and some bumping hip-hop accompanied their entrance to the stage. The members danced their way to their respective instruments and seemed to amp up the crowd. Led by shredder Matt Jalbert, the band galloped through danceable instrumental prog-rock. The funky grooves undoubtedly were a credit to drummer Isaac Teel, who's hip-hop-infused Rock drumming smoothed out the edges of what may have been an aural assault.

Perhaps the power of suggestion was stronger than I acknowledged, because the comparison to Umphrey's McGee wouldn't die. I told a friend that if UM was a professional sports team, Tauk would be their Double A club. The differences came in a few areas. On the downside, Tauk didn't seem to take many risks. For the most part the show seemed to be heavily composed without much room for improvisation. Jalbert's tone and style were extremely similar to Brendan Bayliss, but without a Jake Cinninger to provide compliments; it felt like it was a bit watered down. On the bright side, they also eliminated some of my least favorite aspects of Umphrey's. First, the entirety of their show was instrumental, meaning I didn't have to hear Jake or Bayliss' struggle through singing songs that probably should have been instrumental to start. I also thought they minimized the self-indulgent, masturbatory element of many UM jams. However, these aspects which have been toned down also robbed the show of it's pizzazz, leaving the remaining music good, but not great.

There was a strange sense of isolation that happened as well. The band spread across the stage with AC Carter (keyboards), Teel (drums), and Jalbert (guitar) taking up most of the room and edging bassist, Charlie Dolan off to the side. This idea was reflected in the music also, where it seemed there was a heavy connection between the rest of the band while Dolan just seemed to be along for the ride. To his credit, Dolan was consistent, just not flashy. His choices were safe and timely. I couldn't help thinking how much better they could be with a gunslinger like Consider the Source's Ferrara. As the show progressed, the energy continued to rise, and by the end of the show, I was grooving.

To summarize, before you go Tauking, I'd probably Consider the Source.



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