Well folks, where do I begin to review this wonderful show by The Motet at the Boulder Theater. Maybe my thoughts at the end of the night can sum it up... I walked out of this show thinking two things.

1. WOW! These guys are really this good!
2. Why have I not caught them each time they’ve rolled through Boulder/Denver, I won’t miss another opportunity!

It was a cool evening in Boulder and I could tell by the pre-party I attended at a friend's house that folks were frisky and ready to get a good butt shakin’ party going on at the Boulder Theater. I wasn’t mistaken. The Boulder Theater is my favorite venue in Boulder, with a great balcony and intricate paintings on the walls and high ceiling that really set a good emotion. The Fox may have it beat on sound, but this theater is 100% class.

I have to say this was only my third Motet show, but Friday night I was absolutely sold and I can say that I actually had a better time at The Motet than I did seeing “Guitar God” Steve Kimock the night before at The Fox Theater. Why was it better? Let’s just say it was the amount of energy this band gives to the crowd and the way the crowd reciprocated.

In pure ‘Tribal’ style The Motet began the night around 10:30 in the lobby with each band member playing drums/percussion and marching through the crowd down to the stage. Immediately people were spinning, yelling, dancing, and marching along with the band. By the high energy that was created right from the beginning, I could tell these boys were glad to be back home. Right from the first full out song I could hear the Latin and African influences being fused together with American rock and soul, as well as a dash of funk.

The rhythm and percussion section are the heart of this band and Dave Watts was right in time and showed why he is one of the most respected drummers coming out of this Boulder scene. I can’t wait to hear his jazzy style with Jeff Coffin at the next TOE Jam! The funky grooves were primarily being laid down by guitarist Mike Tiernan and the their new keyboard player on the Rhodes. Greg Raymond fits in nicely and certainly adds an element that wasn’t there at my two previous Motet shows. It's great to see that Jans Ingber hasn’t lost a bit of the fluid in that voice and healthy stage presence, this guy is a rock star and threw out some really smooth vocals throughout the night. Also, I loved the female back up singers as they collaborated on stage and brought further vocal complexity to some songs.

One of the funnest moments of the night was a Motet rendition of "Bust a Move." Hey I thought, “Jans can rap?” The girls were out for this one supporting with “If you want it, you got it – If you want, baby you got it!” And boy did we ever ‘get it’... That got everyone smiling! After leaving the stage just after 1:00 the Motet quickly returned to the stage and a bit of a rowdy crowd and gave us just what we wanted, a three song encore! When bands play in this town they just go off! I feel so lucky to have had this many great musical experiences. Thanks go out to all the folks who created the wonderful vibes on the floor and throughout the theater Friday night and our gracious late night hosts after the show.

John Newman

[Published on: 9/11/01]

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