Words & Images by: Tk Kayembe
BoomBox :: 04.09.09 :: Fox Theatre :: Boulder, CO
It was a cool, nippy Thursday afternoon in Boulder when BoomBox pulled past the Fox Theatre marquee. They rushed in for soundcheck then tucked themselves away in the artist's nook, i.e. the crimson box, the downstairs backstage area, for the duration of the day. DJ/Producer Russ Randolph and his "Spawn of The Dead" partner in crime Zion Rock Godchaux relaxed and de-stressed until showtime, focusing their heads on what inevitably manifested into another stellar set for the pair.
Beneath the dance floor, Godchaux was chilling on a couch, guitar in hand, wearing a relaxed yet focused expression on his face while Randolph engaged in conversation with friends. We congregated for a bit, sharing a few words before Godchaux casually slipped into the bathroom, quickly emerging like Superman from a phone booth, completely transformed into his psychedelic, funk-hop god attire. Decorated with a fuzzy blue hat resembling a custom Kangol cap one would find in a pimp's closet, a pearl shaded boa, Adidas track pants, sleeveless jersey, a robe and funky shades, Godchaux looked like a perfectly primped rock star. Also avoiding plain attire, Randolph's shirt depicted a man smoking a cigar with the smoke from the burning ember dissipating into an entire galaxy, similar to their music, which begins slow and steady with the low thump of a beat, then is joined by tranquil guitar licks, soon fully blossoming into a brightly textured constellation of sound.
When Godchaux and Randolph began playing, the floor became a basket of snakes as groovers twisted and squirmed. When the house lights went out, the scene from backstage was multicolored and magnificent, as ornamented BoomBoxers with luminescent glow sticks worn as necklaces, headbands, armbands and anklets shined like lightening bugs. Like at any other BB show, the fans showed their love by dressing up extra funky for the Kaossilator-clad pair. Plenty of interesting makeup jobs (including my own), boas and endless amounts of glitter could be spotted dressing up sweaty faces and wide-mouth grins throughout the crowd.
The vibe is so pleasantly mellow during a BB show that it's hard not to get swept up in the groove. Godchaux's serene guitar playing accompanies and accentuates his gentle, soothing vocals. The music hangs dense in the air, lulling you into a trance as you sway to and fro, enchanted, and at times overwhelmed by the sensual wah-heavy psychedelic funk-hop playing, like the most incredible soundtrack to a porno that's yet to be made.
|Zion Rock Godchaux :: 04.09 :: Fox|
This particular concert showcased some sensational new tunes and was filmed for an upcoming music video promoting the group's new album, so cameramen were speckled throughout the theatre, large image capturing devices in hand, eager to seize and record every exciting moment on film.
BoomBox's set contained tunes from their anomalous debut album, Visions of Backbeat, such as "Stereo." Additionally, covers of songs by Michael Jackson, The Beatles, the Grateful Dead and Nu Shooz, along with new material, were tested on the Colorado crowd, while still leaving room for a fair amount of extended jamming. A few gems from the night included "Mr. Boogie Man," "Billie Jean," "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" "Shakedown Street" and "I Can't Wait."
The music was so fun and exciting I was eager to run backstage after the show and acquire a setlist from the boys. Unfortunately, there was no setlist for me to obtain - it was all created and concocted onstage by the musical minds of Randolph and Godchaux. Similar to many of my favorite artists, BoomBox's sets are created special each night, built of both their own songs as well as covers, and bound together with solid, perfectly executed improvisation. Their mission has always been to remain true to the music, especially the live show aspect of it, to let their sound continually evolve, designing and writing their albums one foot forward, which is also what they strive for their concerts to reflect. If you enjoy dreamlike, genre bending, funktronica, then it's highly suggested you check out a BoomBox show, most likely playing soon in a town near you.
BoomBox tour dates available here.
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