The Motet | Brooklyn Bowl | 4/27/2024

Article Contributed by Jamie Huenefeld | Published on Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The legendary Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY hosted two very different, but incredibly talented jam bands on Saturday, April 27, 2024. The Motet, a six-piece funk band from Denver, CO, was in the headliner time slot, with Lespecial, the prog rock power trio from Southern Connecticut as the opener. Both bands brought a lot of fun, jam-rock energy, albeit from very different musical perspectives.

Drummer Rory Dolan | Lespecial

Lespecial began the music this evening with plenty of raw and primal power. The current lineup included bassist Luke Bemand, drummer Rory Dolan, and guitarist Jonathan Grusauskas, who have all been playing together since high school. Plenty of their signature heavy future groove was served up, starting with "Snells Fleet." A melodically electronic "Repeater" followed, and transitioned into a depth of sound and textures in "Machine Elf." Dolan's animated drumming was exciting to watch.

Guitarist Jonathan Grusauskas | Lespecial

The next sequence was nothing short of an intense, metal-themed jam, starting with "Chromakey Dreamcoat" by Boards of Canada. This slid into "The Vessel" and landed squarely in a brand new, unnamed song. Bemand titled the song "So Tired" after they finished. "Lungs of the Planet" was up next. The band decided to toss sandwiches into the crowd prior to diving into their Metallica-inspired "Enter Sandstorm," which was released on EP the day prior.

Bassist Luke Bemand with the rock star moves | Lespecial

The band honored the Grateful Dead in the next tune, "Tonberry," with a well-placed "Shakedown Street" tease. The last tune brought another jam-heavy hitter on stage as drummer Dave Watts from The Motet joined Dolan on the kit for "Jackwise." Watt's mellow demeanor was a perfect compliment to Dolan's fiery presence, as he was often seen pointing at Dolan with a smile. The fans certainly got a nice treat with this closing tune, including another "Shakedown Street" tease.

Drummer Rory Dolan sits in with the MotetBowl | Brooklyn Bowl

After a quick break, The Motet took the stage with a lighter take on jam rock. They kicked off their set with an upbeat, 70's funk-reminiscent tune titled "Damn!" from their 2016 release Totem. Vocalist Sarah Clarke lit up the room with her vibrant energy and stellar vocals. Keyboardist Joey Porter added a tasty synth to "Danger," another Totem tune. Porter continued to rage on the keys during "Love Time." "Thinking" followed and kept the funk flowing strong.

Vocalist Sarah Clarke | The Motet

"Sunshine," from the 2023 release All Day, was up next and featured euphonious synth from saxophonist Drew Sayers. Rory Dolan from Lespecial also sat in for more dual drumming delights. As mentioned before, he is an absolute animal on the kit, and worth checking out. He and Watts played well off each other, as this was perhaps the set's highlight.

Drummers Rory Dolan and Dave Watts | Brooklyn Bowl

Another newer tune, the R&B-inspired tune "Natural Light", followed this spectacle. Drew Sayers elevated the next tune, "Keep On" by a function of the saxophone, along with Ryan Jalbert's upbeat guitar work. "We Got U" proceeded, and was dripping in funk. Bassist Garrett Sayers decorated this tune with a thumping bass, as Porter took the synth to the next level.

Guitarist Ryan Jalbert | The Motet

"Get It Right," another tune that felt straight out of the 70's, from their 2019 release Death or Devotion followed. Watt's technical skills shone brightly during this tune. The rest of the band was firing on all cylinders. The instrumental tune "False Prophets" followed, along with "Highly Compatible," another smooth funk song from Death or Devotion. The band completed the Death or Devotion trifecta with "Whacha Gonna Bring." The set ended with the feel-good tune, "Fool No More."

Keyboardist Joey Porter | The Motet

The band returned for an encore and played "What a Fool Believes" by Kenny Loggins. Clarke was on top of her game as she sang this well-known song with vigor. The rest of the band complimented each other perfectly. The crowd was absolutely enveloped in delicious funk and loved every second.

The Motet | Brooklyn Bowl

Both bands are on tour this summer, crushing their shows, and are not to be missed. The Motet are up next at George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, AK on May 8th. Head on over to their tour page for details on more shows. Also, check out Lespecial's current tour ledger.

Fans enjoyed both bands | The Brooklyn Bowl

Check out more photos from Lespecial and The Motet!

Set: Snells Fleet, Repeater > Machine Elf, Chromakey Dreamcoat1 > The Vessel > Unknown2, Lungs of the Planet, Enter Sandstorm3, Tonberry4, Jackwise5
1. Boards of Canada cover
2. New Song titled "So Tired" by Luke
3. Sandwiches were thrown to the crowd to celebrate lespecial's new LP
4. "Shakedown Street" tease, bluegrass outro
5. With Dave Watts on drums, "Shakedown Street" and "John the Fisherman" teases

The Motet
Set: Damn!, Danger, Love Time, Thinking, Sunshine1, Natural Light, Keep On, We Got U, Get It Right, Funky Weekend2, False Prophets, Highly Compatible, Whacha Gonna Bring, Fool No More
Encore: What a Fool Believes3
1. with Rory Dolan
2. Mint Condition cover
3. Kenny Loggins cover

Fun was had by all | Brooklyn Bowl

Bassist Luke Bemand | Lespecial | Photo by Vinny Vallely

Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY | Photo by Vinny Vallely

Vocalist Sarah Clarke | The Motet

The Motet | Brooklyn Bowl