Steve Kimock Band
Gothic Theater | Englewood, CO | 12.30.02 & 12.31.02

Check out the Steve Kimock Band photo gallery!

Denver welcomed the Steve Kimock Band to its year-end celebration with open arms. Since its last visit to the Gothic Theatre in February 2002, the SKB has been a touring machine throughout the U.S. and Japan. As a result of this dedication to sharing the music, the quartet has developed a level of professionalism and precision that make it one of the best sounding live shows around.

Opening the night, Mountain of Venus provided an ample warm-up for the crowd with their own brand of psychedelic rock. MoV, fronted by two strong vocalists, burned through an impressive set that is distinct in today’s jamband scene. We can only hope that Mountains of Venus maintains their touring momentum so that the word can spread. What made their sets even more memorable this time around was an additional guest-drummer: John Morgan Kimock, son of Steve. John ended up making another cameo appearance, but more on that later.

Photo by Tony Stack
The first show of the two was exceptional. In the first song of the evening, Steve welcomed the audience with “High and Lonesome” played on his white stratocaster. The introductory solo was built into a lush soundscape by the band and concluded with a powerful solo by Steve. Somewhere in the first few songs, the backdrop began to change colors. The captivating tie-dyes displayed over the two nights behind the band where embellished by 3rd Eye Candy’s lighting productions. Colors shifted, textures flowed without the need of psychedelic mind alteration. A neat trick indeed.

Rodney Holmes, a gem of a drummer, kicked off an engaging yet short drum solo that led into a joyful “A New Africa,” a tune that really showcases his talents. His drum rolls, retorted by Steve’s guitar, elicited a playful dialog that emoted positive energy. Steve then switched to his steel lap guitar for “Cowboy” and “Song Two” which further revved up the crowd. Rodney and Mitch Stein delivered plenty of punch in these songs and each provided solos in “Why Can’t We All Just Samba.” In the final song of the first set, “Rainbow’s Cadillac,” Alphonso Johnson was able to showcase his deft bass skills. His finger speed is impressive. It was also for this song that Steve brought out his brown, Stephen Cripe designed guitar that he would use for most of the show.

At set-break, the audience was re-introduced to John Morgan Kimock, who played a duet jam with his father at the side of the stage. The young drummer demonstrated his budding proficiency and the audience was treated to an intimate glimpse of a father and son sharing quality time.

The second set was kicked off with “Bronx Experiment” followed by “Elmer’s Revenge.” Again, both songs enabled Alphonso to lay down heavy rhythms, complimented by Mitch Stein dishing out one of his dazzling solos. Steve stepped in with his own interlude that imbued a bit of a grungy blues riff. The latter song seemed to weave psychedelic layers that were further enhanced by the light show displayed behind the band.

Photo by Tony Stack
Steve stayed with the Cripe guitar for “Thing One,” a funky song that really let Rodney guide the conversation onstage. The Steve & Rodney interplay carried into the final song of the evening, “Kissing the Boo Boo,” in which they each took turns taking the song to a new level and a different place. Since their musical partnership began in 2000, these two musicians have found ways to feed off each other’s energy in their shows. If you get a chance, follow their eyes during songs. You can sometimes catch a moment of surprise at what the other is doing.

On New Year’s Eve, the band started their show later in the evening and delivered a very funky first set that included “It's Up to You,” “Bronx Experiment,” “Tangled Hangers,” “Five B4 Funk” and “Moon People.” Since shouting “whoo!” during Five B4 Funk is one of the few occasions where yelling is encouraged at a Steve Kimock Band show, the partiers of the evening made the most of their opportunity.

New Year was celebrated with balloons and confetti falling from the ceiling while the band toasted everyone in attendance. Note to self: “Cover beverage glass when confetti is falling overhead.”

The second set delved into a heavier, more spaced-out set that included, “Avalon,” “Arf She Cried,” “Cole's Law,” “Sabertooth,” “Ice Cream Factory,” “Long Form Part 1,” “Hillbillies on PCP” with two encores, “Little Wing” and “You're the One.” The show lasted well into the early hours and for those who joined this party, it was one to be remembered.

Haig Assadorian
JamBase | Colorado
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[Published on: 1/10/03]

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