Five sold out shows in Colorado might lead one to believe that Funk might not yet be Dead. Not a chance. As the Motet took their Deadly decorated stage at
Cervantes’ on Friday night, the buzz grew louder, and louder, and louder, to the point where normal conversations ended and were left to smiles and nods. Skulls and roses were nestled around every amp, microphone, lapelle, and fedora and with the crowd sufficiently pumped up by a stellar performance of Kung Fu, we were treated to an instrumental drum and bass jam stemming from King Solomon’s Marbles.
With the rhythm set and the audience locked in, the rest of the band soon took the stage and kicked the night off with one of the favorite openers of all time: Help on the Way > Slipknot > Franklin’s Tower. Really? Really. As these classic melodies bounced around the room the group began to set the pace for the night, to me it felt somewhere in-between a mad dash and all out sprint. I caught myself looking around the stage a few different times early-on, and asking myself why there were so many musicians, the normal seven-piece act had nearly doubled to a twelve pack. An extra percussionist here, another horn there, how about a couple guitars and some more vocal representation? Were all these guests going to be able to groove with that impeccable Motet synchronicity? A resounding YES is in order. Without fail the group harmoniously blended their sounds and abilities and coupled with some tightly choreographed moves from the vocal trio truly paid homage to the soul and spirit of the Dead. This comes as second nature for many of the group but an interesting interview with singer Kim Dawson sheds light that, “[She] hadn’t every really listened to the Dead and had never sung any Dead tunes before we started practicing for the Halloween run. Before those shows I wouldn’t have been able to name you a single Dead tune!” Her truth is testament to the capabilities of the band as a whole and, to the ease in which they are able to adapt to entirely distinct genres of music.
The night ran, and the band delivered, again and again, finally leaving us with what some fans had waited for the entire evening, a Shakedown Street encore. Guitarist Ryan Jalbert would have made Jerry proud with his bubbling waterfall riffs as Garret Sayers followed him rather ‘Leshly’ around the fretboard of his bass, mirroring the intricate interplay the two had been toying with all night.
The band has announced five more dates in cities across the country where they will undoubtedly perform to the pinnacle we have come to expect, and anyone who might be lucky enough to own one of those tickets will surely leave as satisfied as the 900 smiles pouring out of Cervantes’ on Friday.
Long live the Funky Dead.
Article By: Jake Warner