Honestly, I walked into the Boulder Theater this night expecting to hear more of a hip-hop show, which certainly was not the case. Although there were influences of hip hop, and with the keyboardist running a live audio editing software, perhaps Ableton, to me it came off as a classic rock sound. But, I was not even slightly disappointed! Mama’s Cookin’ delivers a sound that borders on replicating classic rock, think Zeppelin mixed with The Beatles, but with a modern flare.
More and more, the concerts I attend in the area have crowds that are close to capacity for the venue. Generally, this is perfectly fine with me, I’ve become accustomed to being shuffled, pushed and spilled upon. This night as I walked into the Boulder Theater, it was so refreshing to have room to move and boogie. The tables were even set up to have people casually sit at!
Unable to make it in time for the opening acts, I was fortunate to arrive just as Mama’s Cookin’ were saying their warm hellos to the crowd. Having previously resided in Boulder, this band certainly has a following. All night they were interactive with the crowd, talking to them, responding to song requests and stating they were playing certain songs for certain friends (especially a crew that flew in from Memphis).
Lights, smoke, fog, and lasers made for an even more entertaining stage show. What really caught my attention was guitarist and vocalist Zebuel Early’s charisma, something along the lines of Neil Diamond. Bass player Steve LaBella had quite the groove going on from all his bouncing and boogying all over the stage! His thundering, yet snappy bass lines fit in well with the other musicians. All the way in the back was very competent and driving drummer Mike Adamo, who was more of the man moving about in the shadows for the evening. Lastly, but not least was keyboardist extraordinaire Eric Matlock. From my perspective, Eric is really where more of the hip-hop influence comes from. Don’t get me wrong though, although he has a modern sound, he can lay down some really vintage piano-esque parts to complement to classic rock feel.
Through originals and covers, song after song they nailed it! As the crowd grew larger, they flipped on the lasers and silhouetted Mr. Early at the front of the stage. Segueing perfectly from an original into The Beatles' “Come Together” was a highlight musically of the evening. I was struck by how I really enjoyed their version of “Come Together”. I’ve listened to The Beatles all my life, both my parents being rabid fans, but this version sounded new and original. If I hadn’t known the song from its immense popularity, I really would have thought it was one of their originals.
Having moved from Boulder, CO and now residing in Lake Tahoe, CA, it was a pleasure having these four men back on stage at the Boulder Theater. Check Mama’s Cookin’ website often for updates on their tour, pictures, videos and music - http://www.mamascookinmusic.com/index.html
I want to thank Mama’s Cookin’ and the Boulder Theater for their hospitality!