Thursday, March 22, 2012

Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest... Just Don't Put Corey Glover's Street Cred to the Test

Seeing two big shows in as many weekends readies me for the concert season just around the corner. Big summer show announcements are here it seems almost daily. No doubt Denver will host musical guests of the highest caliber all summer long. I'm ready to see the skyline behind my first Red Rocks show soon enough.
Umphrey's Mcgee sold out the Fillmore on Friday, March 9 and brought the jam to grateful noodlers with two choice sets. Both were uptempo and accessible for fans only familiar with the band’s newer Death By Stereo material and diehard festi kids who have seen too many shows to remember. One of the highlights of the night was the band having Dominic Lalli, saxophonist from Big Gigantic, join the band on stage for “Booth Love.” The addition of the skilled horn made it the highlight of the evening. The band finished with an encore topped out by a decent cover of “Billie Jean.”
Friday the 16th brought the first of two nights of Galactic at the Ogden. Openers DJ Logic and ALO all worked together throughout the night to create several funk fusions worthy of note. ALO blended the perfect mix of pop with just enough jam to win over most of the crowd. The band is fresh off SXSW performances and was picked in Rolling Stone's list of 25 shows not to be missed at the festival. Look forward to seeing them again soon, just perhaps at the top of the bill.
When New Orleans-based Galactic took the stage they did so with a thunder. Corey Henry, 2012 Grammy-winning trombonist for his work with Rebirth Brass Band, stole the show over and over again with his unrivaled talent. He, along with saxophonist Ben Ellman who also absolutely killed on the harmonica, rounded out a superbly talented group of musicians. The band invited Ryan Montbleau on stage for a stellar cover of Paul Simon's “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover.”
Corey Glover, vocalist from Living Colour also joined the band on stage for several groupings of songs and gave an incredible blues twist that included Bobby McFerrin-like voice manipulations. He also did a worthy cover of Zeppelin's “Kashmir” and provided the best entertainment of any of the guests that have joined bands onstage in recent outings. For the encore, Glover went into Living Colour's best-known song, “Cult of Personality.” Two thirds of the way through the song a young gentleman who had been feeling overwhelmingly loving towards those around him all night decided to join Glover on stage and plant a tiny kiss on the singer's cheek. Glover tussled with the intruder and initially threw the trespasser off stage and continued his way through the song. The previously loving young man became irritated at being thrown off stage and began fighting with those around him, catching Glover's attention and luring him down off the stage. He moved towards the crowd distracter, eventually standing in his admirer's face screaming the lyrics that made him famous. He put special stress on the “I'm” part of the lyric letting the crowd and the problem patron know who had the mic and the spotlight.
Hopefully as the streams begin to swell with melting snow and the lines begin to form at concert venues across the metro area the spirit of cooperative music will carry on and we will be treated to more and more pairings we did, or hopefully didn't expect to see. And just so we’re clear, stay the hell off Corey Glover's stage.

- John Binyon

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