The Motet returned to the stage in Boulder on Thursday April 19, bringing their afro-cuban grooves home to the Fox Theater. Their last hometown appearance was in November, playing to an energetic Boulder Theater crowd for the CD-release party for the newest album, Play. The almost five month gap since The Motet’s last appearance created excitement and anticipation for Thursday’s show headlining the Fox.
The stage at The Fox was adorned with tropical plants and featured a hand-painted backdrop depicting the streets of Havana, Cuba. Members of the band have taken recent trips to Cuba to soak up the unique vibe of the island: “I love it down there,” says drummer Dave Watts. African drum and dance troupe “Benkadi” opened the night and impressed the gathering crowd.
The Motet took the stage without much fanfare and weaved their way into a funk Jam lead by Keyboardist Steve Vidaic. The Fox was pleasantly packed with dancing fans – every spot was filled but there was still plenty of room to boogie. There was a clear connection between the band and the crowd - it seemed that everyone in front of the stage was in touch with what was happening on stage and vice versa. Members of the band were all smiles and filled with energy, easily segueing from one tune to the next.
We were soon treated to one of The Motet’s unique percussion jams which so decidedly sets them apart from the rest of the jamband scene. All 6 musicians filled the groove with various drums, shakers, cowbells and the like, interacting beautifully with the crowd and whipping the Latin beat into a frenzy.
“Know Her” followed and transitioned into another high-energy percussion jam. Smiles continued to dominate the stage as the band mixed setlist staples with a number of new tunes. “Brand spankin’ new!” followed three tunes in particular that were debuted to great approval from the dialed-in crowd. It was easy to see the solid connection between Guitarist Mike Tiernan and newly returned Bassist Matt Spence as they kept the groove rolling. Special guests joined the band including the saxophonist from Boulder band Jive and a solo female vocalist.
By 1:15am the venue was pulsing with grooving energy and The Motet added fuel to the fire by conducting a huge Cuban-beat drumming jam with many guests. Almost 15 people filled the stage and the musicians were clearly having as much fun as the dedicated crowd. It was the perfect energy-charged end to a fun and funk-filled evening of visceral beats and positive music. All the band members expressed their thanks to the appreciative crowd – it was a great homecoming for a band that is clearly on a mission to spread their righteous groove far and wide.
JamBase Boulder Correspondent
Go See Live Music!