Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom
Perpetual Groove is back. Playing in Denver for the first time since February of 2012, they settled into their two-night run at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on Friday with a show that stretched into the wee hours of Saturday morning. The four piece trance rock outfit is riding high with their return to the stage after a two year hiatus; rejuvenated after a collision course of self-discovery and introspective exploration.
Funk is an American tradition born in the same house as Jazz. Continuing this tradition are veterans Soulive. I had the pleasure of attending one of two shows this past snowy weekend at Cervantes in Denver. Supported by yet another long time vet George Porter Jr. of The Meters brought out his side project Runnin’ Pardners. This evening was filled with bright, colorful and energetic music.
This was a very special night for me, and Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom was packed for one of the most anticipated and creative artistic creation pre-celebrations in a while. It was an official pre-party for the new rock opera called the Portal being performed at the Glitter Dome in Denver. The earth heart tour featured Desert Dwellers, Kalya Scintilla, Eve Olution, Sixis and Yuyu. The busy bill had the night kick off fairly early, and the performers and audience were prepared for a time of transcendence.
Chris Robinson Brotherhood (CRB) is much more than individual players built around a popular musician. While there’s no doubt that Chris’ past with The Black Crowes has helped fuel their ongoing surge, it’s unfair to the band and their music to label it as such. This is a band in the truest sense, and over the past four years and counting it would be difficult to argue against such a notion.
It was a bill that was full of bands that I have been anticipating seeing. I have seen members in each band play individually in all-star jams and as guests with other bands, but this was what I was waiting for. The New Mastersounds together with Analog Son and Adam Robinson & the Funky Monks opening. This was a hat trick with three great musical acts for the price of one. The crowd bulked up late, but none the less, they were there, and it was packed.
The veteran cast, all-star group of talent called the Greyboy Allstars is back on the road in support of their newest album entitled, Inland Emperor, which the tour is aptly named after. They started it all off with this two night run at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, which is one of my favorite indoor venues in Colorado. The opening band was the New Orleans funk powerhouse Dumpstaphunk.
If you are a Deadhead living in SFO, PDX, PHL, BWI, or NYC, I need to talk to you about time and energy. But not in the “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” tradition of “Practice, Practice, Practice”. Instead, I need to talk to you about the temporal evolution and aggregate electrical output that are quickly molding The Motet’s funkified adaptations of the Grateful Dead songbook into an instant must-see classic.
Maceo Parker: his name is synonymous with Funky Music, his pedigree impeccable; his band: the tightest little funk orchestra on earth.
Everyone knows by now that he’s played with each and every leader of funk, his start with James Brown, which Maceo describes as "like being at University"; jumping aboard the Mothership with George Clinton; stretching out with Bootsy’s Rubber Band. He’s the living, breathing pulse which connects the history of Funk in one golden thread. The cipher which unravels dance music down to its core.