As attendees began to make their way from the parking lot into Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the night, there was an excelled energy running throughout the air. Loyal fans and newcomers were highly anticipating the night full of instrumental jams and pure funk. The disco pre-party that took place in the parking lot was in full swing, transferring that energy into the Amphitheatre as attendees prepared for monumental opening support from Moon Hooch before co-headlining acts Galactic and The Motet.
Moon Hooch, an explosive Brooklyn-based three-piece, led the raw and talented vibes for the night. Moon Hooch’s background stems from playing acoustic and energetic subway sessions throughout the underground of NYC. These collective pushes and crosses deep bass lines and catchy melodies with pounding rhythms that are celebrated as “electronic house music mixed with brawny saxophone riffs.” Moon Hooch is committed to different lifestyle elements, including environmentalism, veganism, philosophy, and peace into their music as well as their actions. Moon Hooch is hosting a Permaculture Action Day on Saturday after their Red Rocks appearance.
Coming out hot, as highly expected, this energetic trio was the perfect opening bill for a legendary night at Red Rocks. Their analog dubstep, supported by saxophone and breakbeat drums was the perfect leeway into an energetic instrumental night. Moon Hooch was consistent in bringing heavy synth-filled jams supported by the bass drum. Many different woodwind instruments were rotated between the two front men and at one point, one of the frontmen jammed a traffic cone into one of the saxophones.
Moon Hooch established their “Cave Music” genre with primal screams into the on-sax microphone by one of the front men. Overall the collective produced a very cathartic flow and great transitions for the beginning of the party at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
After a brief intermission, Galactic got the crowd right back on their feet as they entered the stage. Galactic played the previous night at the intimate Belly Up Aspen and came prepared to bring the same energy to a packed Amphitheatre. Galactic is New Orleans based and utilizes a wide variety of instruments to bring the purest form of funk to a crowd.
Their progressive sound that takes a twist on electronic instrumentation and modern rhythms captured the crowd’s heart instantaneously. Galactic began with a heavy drum intro and Ben Ellman coming into the front row to show off his immense skills on the saxophone.
During the second song, Erica Falls made her first appearance, completely encapsulating the crowd. Her powerful and fierce vocals rang throughout Red Rocks Amphitheatre bringing a fresh feel of R&B, leading into a wild guitar solo by Jeff Raines. The band occasionally brought the beat to a slower pace to accentuate each artist’s talent and make the crowd feel the underlying funk groove.
The leading brass players of this collective never failed to stand proud and upfront completely uplifting the Amphitheatre’s energy. Their talent and stigma were a highlight of this night of music at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Erica Falls occasionally slowed down her vocals to let the crowd passionately feel every note. Her spunk and talent really shifted the crowd’s appreciation towards her powerful uproars supported by deep bass undertones. The band created layers to her vocals with extended electronic synth jams, that literally made the crowd yell in excitement, as well as consistent horn duos supported by drums, bass, and keyboard.
As the set progressed, the energy level rose. Galactic produced short, staccato beats that surfaced an overall melody. Ben Ellman conducted a raging harmonica solo into the infamous “Does It Really Make A Difference,” leading the way into The Motet’s set.
The Motet came out shortly after into a mist of blue lights, not giving the crowd a chance to lose any energy from the previous sets. This seven piece, Colorado-based collective, fuses “fiery funk, simmering soul and improvisational inventiveness,” to create an unforgettable live music experience. Their talent scope ranges from different levels allowing each individual musician to hold a spot in contributing to their overall sound.
The Motet had ten people total on stage instantly bringing the electronic funk and major build ups to match the crowd’s energy for an opening “The Fountain” into “Damn!” Lyle Divinsky (Lead Vocalist) was having a dance party on stage all night when he wasn’t blasting out his vocals into the night. Although Lyle represents a lead for The Motet, he gave each member and the overall band more than enough space to show off their talents and overall groove. The band continued through their set with classics, “That Dream,” “Supernova,” “Speed of Light,” and “Whatcha Gonna Bring.”
Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman provided their diverse talents supporting The Motet on vocals all night as well as showing their multi-talented skills when playing different brass instruments. At one point, the crowd was all singing along with them shouting “Shining On,” creating a powerful unison effect. The Motet continued to bring the heat through “Joke’s On Me,” and “Get It Right.”
The infamous Joey Porter, was ever so prevalent on the keyboard throughout the night bringing insane melodic synths as well as altering his voice to match the melody and give a discoteca vibe. Porter resembled a lead in the band throughout the night, continuing to awe the crowd at his talent.
Lyle at one point gave a shout out to all of the Colorado Music Scene, praising attendees for being able to create a space to share creativity and funk in. Following, an intense and powerful double drum solo took place as the crowd changed their rhythm to match the vigorous and dynamic beats supported by immense percussion instruments including the bongos. At this point, The Motet was supported for this drums and percussion breakdown feat. Stanton Moore (Galactic) and Jeff Franca (Thievery Corporation).
After, the ladies that were stationed in the back came forward with Erica Falls to show off their compelling vocals, supported as always, by the brass talent on stage. The ladies covered “What Have You Done For Me Lately” by Janet Jackson. As they receded, Lyle took back over shouting to the crowd “Everybody wants to get high, right? We are in Colorado!” Which the crowd absolutely loved and continued to cheer him on through “Contagious,” “Death or Devotion,” and “Keep On Don’t Stoppin.”
Numerous solos took place throughout the night showing the collective’s respective dynamic and influence. Lyle, as well as the whole crowd, never stopped moving throughout this disco, funk, all-out party at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The Motet closed the night after their encore with “Highly Compatible” and “The Truth.”
Full Motet Setlist:
- That Dream
- Speed Of Light
- Whatcha Gonna Bring
- Joke’s On Me
- Get It Right
- Drums/Percussion breakdown feat. Stanton Moore (Galactic) and Jeff Franca (Thievery Corporation)
- What Have You Done For Me Lately
- Death Or Devotion
- Keep On Don’t Stoppin’
- Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed
- Highly Compatible
- The Truth