Fareed Haque & His Funk Bros. 12.8.17
Words by J. Picard
Photos by Blake Barit (Direct Attention)
Note: J. Picard manages Fareed Haque and books music at Stage Stop.
On the second level folks started to wander in out of the cold and for a handful of lucky early arrivers, they were treated to a couple of songs courtesy of the trio. Following soundcheck the band ordered food as well, each plate looking as good as the one before it! I dove into New Holland Brewing's (Michigan) stout early and made several trips to the second story deck for smokes. On one such occasion we played witness to a passing Amtrak train coming from one valley between beautiful mountains and heading towards another. There is no venue that I have ever attended a show at that has provided the unique and beautiful experience that Stage Stop does. Inside, droves of people continued to arrive as the free shuttle to and from Nederland dropped off live music fans. By the time the band hit around 9:30 PM, the room was packed!
Christmas lights wrapped around the structure's support beams under which Fareed lead his trio through a range of selections from Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Garaj Mahal and originals both by Fareed and MathGames. Fareed's guitar work displayed the knowledge and proficiency of a professor. The crowd ate up his tasty licks and danced to his loose funky grooves. That night it felt as if Fareed was playing faster than I had seen him play and with even more energy. Alex's tone sounded great and the deep vibrations shook the venue, as well as our rib cages, as he complimented Fareed and nailed the pocket with Fundis. Fareed has played with some of the best drummers in the world and Greg is as good as any of them. His precise hits coupled with his ability to read Fareed and execute is second to none. On that Friday, he turned towards interesting electronic output as well, which created yet another solid layer on top of the already massive sound of the three.
After the show we headed back up 72 and back up Coal Creek Canyon where the hot tub sat at a steamy one hundred and four degrees. The band arrived and we dug into whiskey and wine and watched Star Wars on mute with Tabla Beat Science playing in the background. To everyone's surprise, some time around 2:00 AM I treated the group to a poutine (fries, cheese curds and gravy) which ensured a less painful morning. As the sun came up, we went down as fire turned to embers in the fireplace and night to day. It was only night one of the band's Colorado tour and what a great start it was!
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