Meeting Of Minds :: 02.04.05 :: Boulder Theater :: Boulder, CO

The Boulder Theater provided the playground for members of The Motet and Zilla among others in a gathering called Meeting of the Minds. The stage could barely contain the musicians – 13 of 'em by my count.

Meeting of the Minds :: 02.04
The lineup for the percussion section was formidable: Dave Watts (founder of the Motet), Scott Messersmith (Galactic, Motet), and the duo of Michael Travis (String Cheese Incident) and Jamie Janover, currently between tours with their exceptional side project, Zilla. While Janover was billed as "the conductor" of the group, his cues were subtle, and the resulting sound was remarkably well-balanced.

The Meeting of the Minds wound up being a fluid, evolving conversation between like-minded musicians. After twenty minutes or so, enough space began to develop in the jams that eventually everyone had a chance to settle into a comfortable groove with light, brief solos tossed in for good measure. One member would listen to another and react, and the sound would steadily progress.

Those who attended the show without knowing beforehand that Janover was the purported ringleader likely exited later that evening still unaware of his adopted role. It wasn't that the music was disorganized – far from it. It was that it seemed completely organic in nature instead of something orchestrated by a single member of the group.

Meeting of the Minds :: 02.04
The egalitarian, group-based approach to the sound informed both the mood and tone of the show. While it allowed each of the members a chance to react and feed off one another, it also seemed to be somewhat limiting. As fantastic as the individual musicianship was the entire evening, it seemed that there wasn't that one slugger that could knock it outta the park. The brief and solid solos sounded great, but there weren't any truly jaw-dropping moments.

That assessment might seem to come off a little harsh, but it shouldn't. It was a fun night and a good show. The group simply chose to push the right buttons instead of pushing the envelope.

A couple days later I found myself summing it up for a friend: "It was really good stuff, but nothing over-the-top. Kinda like the Trey Band without Trey. But I'm glad I went and I'd see them again."

Words by: Nathan Rodriguez
Images by: Tobin Voggesser
JamBase | Colorado
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[Published on: 2/23/05]

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