|Float Like a Buffalo|
One Saturday every summer the creative district in Denver known as the Golden Triangle transforms into the Westword Music Showcase with two main outdoor stages and eight indoor venues. It’s a day filled with music, people watching, and alcohol. Local Denver band Float Like a Buffalo converted the Latin club La Rumba into a Palace of Funk. They brought horns, bongos, and plaid (every member wore a plaid shirt). After an extremely long sound check involving an i-pad, the Colorado version of Parliament-Funkadelic got the audience into a groove. Cory Pearman led the band through covers of Ike and Tina Turner’s Proud Mary and Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall. Their original songs did not disappoint either. Smile for the Camera brought everyone to the dance floor while instructing them to … “Smile for the camera.” It was heart warming to see percussionist Garrett Achten’s family bring him bottles of water between his bongo solos. Everybody knows funk makes you thirsty.
#VYBE provided an entertaining spirit to the showcase with their MC dressed in a shiny silver ensemble with a lizard tale and a gorilla named DJ Ape (or maybe a poor bastard in a monkey suit) spinning records between bands. Chloe Tang brought her diverse pop sound to the club. The classically trained pianist played songs about love and heartbreak from her EP Stranger. She’s Not Me was a highlight with powerful lyrics crying out, “I am doing better than the threads we were holding on to/ I wanna know just how it feels when I am not banking on you.” The performance was bittersweet since it was guitarist Payden James Widner’s last show with the band.
Another memorable performance from #VYBE was SIR with their powerful inspirational lyrics passionately sung by SA (Sarah Angela). Guitarist Kim O’Hara’s background vocals blended in beautifully while drummer Luke Mehrens kept it all under his rhythmic control. The music was full of hope while empowering yourself in the moment. Kim O’Hara infectious smile throughout the showcase was charming. SA introduced their ballads as “couple slow dance roller-skating songs.” SIR has already played at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and showcased at South by South West in Austin, Texas. The musicians requested the crowd to buy their merchandise, but more importantly spread the word about the powerhouse trio.
Other highlights include:
- Hearing Wildermiss singing Carry Your Heart with joyous hand clapping.
- Magic Giant’s lead singer Austin Bisnow urging the crowd to jump up and down during a festive jam session.
- Winning tickets for Against Me! (look for a write up in October).
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one thankful about not dressing up as a monkey in the summer heat.