The Motet at Cervantes: 1/28 & 1/29: Review

HOLY DANCE PARTY. Friday and Saturday at Cervantes brought the madness with two sold out shows featuring The Motet.  Some of the most talented musicians Denver has, brought together by Dave Watts to bring a raw, funky twist on some favorite covers.  Friday night was Funk is Dead, a tribute to The Grateful Dead while Saturday was the Best of Halloween bringing an array of covers from your favorite Halloween show. It was a fun, funky-filled weekend full of singing and dancing, displaying some serious local talent.

Friday night was ridiculously packed and as a person of 5'3", I was nervous! Thankfully, I found my niche on the upstairs balcony near the fan that cooled the sweaty cluster of people below me. The stage was blanketed in red roses and skulls, paying adoration to a truly iconic band, The Grateful Dead. As the show started, they did not hesitate to dive right in, starting things off with a little jam session including six musicians before bringing the rest of the band to the stage. As they started to file in, I had forgotten what twelve people on stage looked like; insanity yet so much fun. Once all twelve members were accounted for, the band got funky playing “Help on the Way”. There is certainly an art to a Grateful Dead setlist, and lucky for me I had my resident Dead head, Andy, with me. If it weren’t for him explaining when one song actually stopped and the other started, I couldn’t truly appreciate the ridiculous technical talent these guys have. Their fifteen minute jam sessions were comparable to the Dead’s, but with their own funky, Motet twist. Other great covers included  “Slipknot”, “Franklin’s Tower”, “Sampson and Delilah”, “Dancin’ in the Streets”, and “Scarlet Begonias” to name just a few.

Saturday night brought the Best of Halloween and while the vibe was a bit more tamed, it was definitely a sold out show and Halloween in January. The band also celebrated drummer Dave Watts’ birthday with the rest of Cervantes, the man behind the band. Sadly, though, I felt underdressed and kind of lame that I was not in my finest costume; I didn’t put two and two together. The ones that did dress up, however, made up for everyone else. I saw some pretty outrageous costumes that night, like the guy that had a fuzzy vest-like dress with glowing balls on it. You heard me. It was AWESOME. If anyone can identify this man, I will buy you Taco Bell. Again, I found my niche on the balcony, this time on the other side. The show started with some Jamiroquai; a great introduction to the night followed by The Beatles, “We Can Work It Out”. There was no telling what was coming up next and to my surprise and delight, the band started playing Prince. It was pretty amazing to see how vast the talent on stage was. They had no limitations to what they were capable of, all while making the covers their own. Every thing had a funky twist to it making it easy to dance to. The Motet’s version of Tower of Power’s “What is Hip?” had everyone dancing and really showcased the bassist’s talent as he played one of the most difficult bass lines effortlessly.

It’s always fun when you can sing along with the band and The Motet is always a blast. They are some outrageously talented musicians and they always bring the party. They are taking their show around Colorado and making their way around the west before heading east this year. The band will be busy but make sure you check them out at the Snowball Music Festival in Vail this year and show your support for the Denver music scene.