Conductor Matt Butler is a genius! However he got inspired to come up with this idea of improvisational conducting talented musicians was brilliant. The reason that I say this is because it is very pleasant and beneficial to all parties when musicians are happier than the crowd. Everyone wins! There are only a few inspirational times when that happens. I see it when I am at major festivals and musicians are collaborating, or I see it in super jams such as the Everyone Orchestra. Musicians love to be challenged with jamming outside of the bands that they are in and usually a bit tired of. This outlet keeps smiles on all of the musicians involved.
Denver’s own four-piece heavy soul band The Congress opened this show much to the delight of the audience expecting an all-star musical night. Singer and bass player Jonathon Meadows has one of the most beautiful male voices in music. The last time I saw him before this was at the Love Shack, which is another all-star jam, and he shined even in a crowd of diamonds. The Congress is playing on my birthday, March 21st at the Bluebird Theater, and I’m considering spending it with them.
The Everyone Orchestra played two nights at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom for their 12th anniversary, and luckily for me, I was there the first night, and came the second night after Electron. Both experiences were unique and uplifting. Every time Butler drafts a new squad of talent, it seems to get better and better. This incantation included: Oteil Burbidge (The Allman Brothers), Al Schnier (moe.), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd vocals), Eric Krasno (Soulive), Jeremy Salken (Big Gigantic), Robert Walter (Greyboy Allstars), Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band), Dave Watts, Joey Porter, Jans Ingbar, Gabe Mervine, Matt Pitts (The Motet), and extra special guest Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds).
Toward the end of the show, Eddie Roberts came onto the stage to finish with the rest of the crew. The party lasted so long. It was a marathon. It ended after 3am, and the second night went super late as well. No one wanted them to stop, and they did not want to. Throughout the night, they touched on nearly every genre of music. Everyone was dialed in because they had to be. There were several audibles called, and even one point where Butler said that Schneir prepared a solo that he was not able to play when he was supposed to, but Butler asked him to start the next song with it, and he did. These shows are not the ones to miss, and I already cannot wait until Butler and his squad come to town again.