Steve Kimock Band | Cervante's Masterpiece | Denver, CO | 4.25.03 - 4.27.03
The Steve Kimock Band recently returned to Denver for a three night run, April 25-27, gracing the psychedelic stage of Cervante's Masterpiece. The current lineup features Rodney Holmes on drums, Mitch Stein on guitar, and Arne Livingston on bass, and these shows marked the band's first visit back to Colorado since its mind-blowing NYE run last December. This was a special weekend as it culminated a blow-out, two-and-a-half month long tour which took SKB to the four corners of the US.
For those of you who might not be familiar with Cervante's, it is the newest addition to the Quixote's Grateful Dead-themed family of bars in the area. The best way I can think of to describe it is a psychedelic masterpiece. Complete with a great lighting system, trippy paintings, a steal your face-carpeted stage, and a huge disco ball overhead; it was the perfect avenue for the SKB to unleash its musical explorations.
The first night opened with a beautiful, stretch out and get aquatinted version of "Cole's Law" that had everyone smiling with delight. Such a great way to start off the weekend - chills and goose bumps all over. The next four songs played are all fairly new additions to the SKB repertoire, and have all come a long way since their introduction. My favorite new song is "Life of the Party," hands down. It has a beautiful slow melody that you find lodged in the crevasses of your mind and heart for days to come after hearing it. A solid "You're The One" brought the set to a close and "a pause for the cause."
Set two highlights included a funky "Baby Baby," the "Steel Guitar Rag," and a throwdown, bang your head against the wall, I love '80s metal, curse at the top of your lungs "Moon People" (get the picture?). A beautiful "Stella Blue," on which Steve plays his vintage Fender Stringmaster lap steel guitar, closed the show. You could almost hear Hunter’s poetry coming out of the Stringmaster, in Kimock’s musical voice.
Night two was well played and crowded. Most people who only showed up for one night of the run chose this night. Highlights included a "High and Lonesome" opener, "In Reply," "It's Up 2 You," and the seldom-heard "Sleepwalk" for an encore. I'm going to forgo a lengthy description of night two so I can better describe the hottest night of the run, and by many people's opinion - the whole tour.
We were told on Friday that Sunday would be a special night, as the evening would begin with an acoustic set. This was quite different than the electric “train wreck” that most of us have become accustomed to at your typical SKB gig, and it showcased the musical ability of each individual in the band. Steve began the set solo, playing some lullaby raga that had most of us in attendance in silence with big fat smiles on our faces. At some points you could almost hear a pin drop in the place. These types of moments give new meaning to the phrase “shut up and dance.” The band gradually came out on stage and moved into "La Petite Groove," a beautiful new song that has been introduced in the past few months. Other highlights included "Green," "Bronx Experiment," and the recently pulled out of the closet "Mr. Potato Head." People on the scene have been asking for this one for a long time, and it’s good to finally have it back in the rotation. I really took notice of Arne Livingston during this song, who has only been with the band since the beginning of this tour. Stepping up and playing with musicians of Kimock’s caliber is not an easy thing to do, and I feel that Arne has come a long way and is beginning to gel with the band.
The second set was the total antithesis of the first. It was the last set of the tour, and no one in the band held back. From start to finish it was an absolute electric blow out. "Bad Hair" opener, my favorite "Long Form - Part IV," "Severe Tire Damage," "Ice Cream Factory," and an incredible "Chance In A Million." When Steve picked up the next guitar in his arsenal for the set closer, my friend Chris turned to me with a shit-eating’ grin on his face and said, “You better go sit down, because you’re about to get hit!” With that Kimock launched, and I mean launched, into a monster "Better Get Hit In Your Soul." I thought the roof was going to lift off Cervante's and people’s heads were going to explode! After that, Steve stepped up to the mic, “Stick a fork in us, we’re done. We just played four million shows in about five minutes. Thanks and have a good night.” Considering that we had all just had our minds blown we were not going to accept that. The entire place erupted into a “one more set” chant. The band came out for one more song and played "Little Wing." Enough said. If I had written the entire setlist for the show, it would have been almost identical. If you don’t own any live SKB, get this show. If you have a ton of live SKB, get this show. End of discussion.
For more information on the Steve Kimock Band, visit the official website at www.kimock.com and the fan based website at www.flok.org.
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