New Year’s Eve concert rundown


By Sheila Moriarty


The last day of 2009 falls on a Thursday and a weekend filled with joyful debauchery shall rightfully ensue. Along with procuring reasons for new resolutions and partying like mad, there is not a more appropriate way to celebrate a brand new year than with live music. It’s going to be an innovative new decade ringing in with sounds of funky jazz, bluegrass jams, instrumental electronica, and orchestral roots rock. (For a complete listing of all New Year’s Eve shows, please refer to our calendar on page 33).


:: These United States/Paper Bird :: Hi-Dive ::

The members of These United States are four quirky gentlemen that share their love of honest fun, good times, and storytelling through a psychedelic gospel branch of folk music. The quartet recently released their third studio album Everything Touches Everything, which SPIN deemed as an album that “brilliantly captures the overwhelming jolt of simply being alive.”  The band boasts that they have played a couple hundred live shows a year since their formation a few years back. Any listener will instantly be drawn into the realm of These United States, with their captivating melodies and simplistically intricate lyrics. 


:: Greyboy Allstars :: Ogden Theatre ::

The Greyboy Allstars are a collaborative band that get together to play music simply for the joy of having a good time. Their live performances feature squealing horns, wooden flute, and driving percussion, creating sounds of funky yet soulful jazz with a Twenty-first Century edge. In 2007, the band reunited with DJ Greyboy in the studio for the first time in a decade to compose the successful album, What Happened to Television. The members of GBA consider their collaboration a side project from their usual gigs, but when these allstars get together to make music, a harmonious typhoon occurs which is undeniable performance after performance.


:: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club :: Bluebird Theatre ::

Engaging, riveting, sad and humorous; demanding the audience to participate both live and while listening to their albums: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club has been branded with every musical description possible. This seems fitting, as SCAC describes their music as American, and after a decade of working and living as SCAC, they have created their own genre. The originally Denver-based band has recorded critically acclaimed albums on Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label. Both SPIN magazine and No Depression have described them as the best live band in America.  The songs are each thoughtfully crafted with unique arrangement, executed by superb musicianship, then fully realized through original, insightful and intelligent lyrics. With two of the most charismatic front men around and four accomplished musicians (from Wovenhand, Delta 72 and 16Horsepower), SCAC is the past, present, and future of American music.


:: Mountain Standard Time :: Stage Stop ::

The amiable fellows that call themselves Mountain Standard Time get together to play music with the intention to pass along jolly times and contagious cheer. Since their chance meeting early in 2008, Mountain Standard Time has been imprinting their brand of bluegrass on the minds of their enthusiastic audiences. They call their music “non-linear aquatic gypsy-grass,” but it seems most people don’t care to dabble in semantics, they just want to keep on dancing! These boys are Nederland, Colorado’s finest slamgrass funk ragin’ dance party in-your-face freakshow and provide nothing less when performing live.


:: Triple Cobra :: The Walnut Room ::

Remember when rock and roll kicked ass? Triple Cobra does. No longer do you need to apologize for gaudy solos, karate kicks and stage splits. Audacity is the name of the game, and bravado knows no shame. The glam addicted, oversexed eccentrics from San Francisco send epic melodies soaring over sumptuous riffs, relinquishing the mediocrity of life to the majesty of rock. This triumph of sound is matched with the grandeur of dancers adorned in furs, feathers and fishnets shaking and grinding under a heroic light show overflowing with intrigue and innuendo uniting to create an event erupting with radiant glamour and raw spectacle. Lock your doors and hide your daughters. Triple Cobra is ready to strike.


:: The Meters Experience :: Quioxte’s True Blue ::

On the eve of the New Year, the original music of The Meters is going to be heralded through The Meters’ Experience, featuring Leo Nocentelli, the “funkiest, fast-fingered” guitarist there is, and special guest CR Gruver (Outformation, Polytoxic).

Nocentelli, an original member of The Meters, is the lead guitarist, composer, innovator and the musical originator of the syncopated funk style that won international acclaim for him and the band known as the “Pioneers of Funk,” The Meters — the Grammy’s 2001 Lifetime Achievement award winners. The Meters’ Experience features elements of funk, blues, jazz, and hip-hop to create a unique brand of blazing music that is just plain funky. 


:: Pepper :: Fox Theatre ::

Originally from Hawaii, the Southern California-based Pepper mixes laid back surf vibes with throw-down rock, dub and reggae. Prolific in the studio and on the performance circuit, the band released Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations last year on their own label, Law Records. The band has appeared on the Warped Tour and this year’s Jagermeister Music Tour, and the group is savvy enough that they just released their own iPhone app.


:: Yonder Mountain String Band :: Fillmore Auditorium ::

New Years on the East Coast, means a ball dropping. New Years in Colorado means Yonder Mountain String Band. Bending bluegrass, rock and countless other influences that the band cites, Yonder has pioneered a sound all their own, attracting an untraditional ear with a passion for true live talent. With their traditional lineup of instruments, the band may have originally looked like a bluegrass band at first, but long ago they shed that notion and have blending genres and bending strings ever since. The foursome released their fifth studio album The Show (the second with producer Tom Rothrock) in September which received exceptional reviews nationwide.


:: Hot Buttered Rum & Motet :: Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom ::

Hot Buttered Rum and The Motet are sharing a headlining slot for this New Years. The Motet has an astonishingly talented cast of musicians who have refined their sound and their vision into a dynamic and expressive improvisational force. With roots in jazz, afrobeat, funk, salsa and samba, The Motet keeps their audiences in a dancing frenzy by layering house and techno rhythms into a style that is uniquely their own.

Initially formed as an acoustic string band, seven years of constant touring has transformed Hot Buttered Rum into a plugged-in, percussive powerhouse. Their left-coast rock reveals an access to jazz, country, and world music that few groups can match.

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