If last night was any indication of what immense funkiness will take place tonight on New Year's Eve, then funk lovers heading to Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom to ring in the new year are in for a treat. Friday night's portion of the two-night New Year's Eve weekend run of shows delivered the way it needed to, and I can only imagine that Saturday night's show will be just that much better thanks to an extra air of celebration. As for last night, the funk started early and went late into the night, really testing the dancing legs of the packed in crowd.
|DJ Loadie Loaded|
The night began with a DJ set from Denver local DJ Loadie Loaded. Armed with two decks, a mixer and a healthy supply of vintage and nu-funk, disco, jazz, and a little hip-hop and rock, he got the speakers blaring and the early crowd in the dancing mood. He exhibited the ability to steadily build intensity by utilizing wise song selection - not trying to do anything too intense right away but definitely setting his mix apart from just being background music. He kept the music going until the bands arrived and were ready to go - just as the dance floor became nice and crowded.
As the first show in this two-night run, the bands decided to switch it up a little bit. Although tonight Orgone will play first followed by Dumpstaphunk, the order was reversed Friday night. Dumpstaphunk took the stage first to kick off the live portion of the funk, and immediately ratcheted the party to the next level. New Orleans based funk stalwarts Dumpstaphunk featured Ivan Neville on organ/keyboard/vocals/guitar, Tony Hall on bass/guitar/vocals, Nick Daniels III on bass/vocals, Nikki Glaspie on drums/vocals, and Ian Neville on guitar. Together they brought a southern style New Orleans jazz infused brand of funk with modern sensibilities but a throwback influence from the '70s and '80s. It made for a genuine funk listening experience that instantly commanded the crowd into a dancing frenzy.
Dumpstaphunk played a commanding set of music featuring many of their funk originals from their album Everybody Want Sum. They showed no signs of fatigue despite having just flown in to town after performing a show in New York the night before, tearing immediately into the title track "Everybody Want Sum" to get the dancing started. From there it was slightly stretched out renditions of "Gasman Chronicles", "Deeper", "Liar", proving the band was having a great time as they added subtle extra instrumentalism that lengthened the songs and thus lengthened the dancing experience.
Of course, Dumpstaphunk had to include a live show favorite, "Put It In The Dumpsta". This time the song had extra meaning, as Ivan Neville explained everyone needed to get rid of all the bad from the previous to approach the new one clean. After a rendition of "My Freedom", Dumpstaphunk called some ladies up to the stage to help incite even more dancing when they performed "Standin' In Your Stuff". "Do Ya" and "Sheez Music" came next, followed by a cover of Graham Central Station's "Water". The set ended beautifully with the performance of "Meanwhile..." from Dumpstaphunk's Listen Hear album. Their set was quite the ride, and although it was just over an hour and a half, it was so much fun it didn't feel like nearly 1 o'clock in the morning when they left the stage.
DJ Loadie Loaded went back on the decks to make sure people's dancing legs wouldn't tighten up between the set change as Orgone readied themselves to keep the funk flowing. Shortly after, it was time to take the party back into live gear, and this Los Angeles based funk band knew exactly how to do it. Orgone performed as an eight-piece band; Sergio Rios on guitar/vocals, Dan Hastie on keyboards/organ/vocals, Stewart Killen on percussion/vocals, Sam Halterman on drums, Ethan Phillips on bass, Darren Cardoza on trombone, Devin Williams on trumpet, and Nikki J. Crawford on vocals. They approach funk with a little more '60s and '70s influence while also infusing a lot of soul, afrobeat and a touch of rock 'n' roll into their sound.
Orgone began with an instrumental funk tune, "Melting" to get things started. It was a good, slightly mysterious way to begin their set - the lights were dimmed down a bit and the song built up slowly before exploding into a dancey funk tune, snatching up any crowd attention that might have been lost during the set change interlude. They followed the opening song with a couple more instrumentals, "Cali Fever" and "Prison Break". Then Nikki J. Crawford took the microphone and thanks got much, much funkier and quite a bit more sexy as Orgone tore into a cover of Lyn Collin's "Rock Me Again".
Nikki J. Crawford added more sultry vocal work to "Give It Up" and the breathtaking song "Who Knows Who". Orgone then continued to lay down more incredible funk with "Sophisticated Honky", "Serious" and some funky soul with "Reasons To Love You". The afrobeat infusion kicked into high gear when Orgone performed "Funky Nassau", getting the crowd to join in and sing along. Orgone showed off their instrumental prowess with their last couple songs - "Strike" and "Ain't No Use" had ridiculously awesome and intense instrumental runs balanced out with short vocal sections.
Orgone finished their regular set at 2:15AM, and the crowd, unsure if Orgone would be allowed to play on despite it being past the time shows normally end, called for an encore anyway. Orgone was happy to oblige, in fact Sergio Rios came out on stage and hit the microphone, explaining the band was wiping the immense beads of sweat off of their brows and wanted to make sure Denver wanted to hear more music before they returned to the stage. The crowds response? Absolutely. So Orgone returned to the stage and blew the crowd away with a fifteen minute long encore rendition of Black Merda's "Cynthy-Ruth" - and my oh my was it incredible.
So what can you expect if you are going to check out tonight's New Year's Eve show? An absolute funk spectacular that will sap every last bit of energy out of you with incredible, high-quality and high-energy beautiful music. If funk is your thing you absolutely need to be at this show, as it will probably exceed what you'd expect out of a funk show. It will be a spectacularly fun way to bring in the new year! The doors open tonight at 8:00PM and tickets are $40 for this all ages show! Happy new year!
See more pictures from this show in the Facebook photo album. Like the Concerted Effort page to stay up to date!