Friday night the Jazzhaus got its first taste of the rising star of the jam scene from Nebraska, Blue Martian Tribe, a six-piece band whose sound ranges from psychedelic Pink Floyd trips to funky dance-able jams reminiscent of Moe. Blue Martian Tribe, or BMT, was the perfect opener for Mouth, warming up the crowd and getting hot and heavy with their bold, dynamic guitar riffs, heart-pounding percussion and funky bass and keys.
Between their lead and rhythm guitars, bass, keys and two percussionists, Blue Martian Tribe creates a compilation of mind-boggling music that's pleasant on the ears and impressive to behold. Their songs held all the qualities of an old-school Grateful Dead tribute, a progressive rock group and a funky jazz band. BMT's blend of styles is balanced and keeps their set exciting by changing up the mood with the different sounds.
The dance floor filled up with excited listeners, entranced by the changing, flowing sounds of the band. Even as the Jazzhaus continued to welcome late-comers for Mouth, BMT blew away the crowd with their energetic, diverse set.
"It's a great venue, great crowd. Couldn't ask for a better show," BMT drummer Adam Gerber declared after the set. Plans are already in place for future shows with Mouth in Nebraska. Hopefully it won't be long before Blue Martian Tribe beams down to Lawrence again.
Mouth's drummer Stephen Gunn said, "The secret word for tonight's show is 'nonelectro'. There have been so many electronic shows in town lately, we want to do something different."
Mouth may be the most reliably awesome band playing in Lawrence and Kansas City these days. Every show they play is a well-practiced, brilliantly fun, funky good time. But they are always changing up their songs, adding something new, playing well-loved tunes with a different style. As usual, Mouth failed to disappoint their loving fans, by playing a set that was different, even as it was another great concert.
For their set last night, Mouth played some of the fan favorites, with a different twist, emphasizing less on spacey electronica sounds and focusing on the funky, organic sounds of their songs. You can always recognize a great Mouth song like Virtuality or Worm, but even as you hear your favorite riff, or dynamic back-and-forth between the trio's instruments, you can tell it's different. Mouth needs very little in the way of improvement, but they still love to give their best hits a new spin, and see how the audience likes it.
Last night's experiments were a huge success, the dance floor became entirely packed, with people crowding the tables and walkways leading up to the stage just to get closer to the brilliant music. The entire bar was getting crowded by the time Mouth started their set. By the end of the night it was completely swamped with dancing, drinking, party people.
It's been said before, and it will be said again, if you're looking for a funky dance party, there's nothing better than a Mouth show.
Now, for Previews:
Possibly the best deal you'll ever get for a concert; Lotus is playing at the Bottleneck Tuesday night at 10 p.m. for FREE! The electronic jam band has a strong following of loving fans, who are already frothing at the mouth about this show. If you want to join the party, tickets will be available for free starting at 2 p.m. Come early and get your groove on, it's going to be a wild night!
Then if you haven't gotten your fill of electronica, the Granada will have a lineup of DJs throwing down hot tracks Wednesday night at the Granada at 9 p.m. for just $3. The show is being called Bass.0 which one would assume means that there will be a lot of heavy bass, so come ready to get down.
Lastly, this weekend promises two nights of glorious bluegrass from one of the nation's best bands in the scene: Yonder Mountain String Band! The Colorado based band of string-plucking minstrels makes a stop in Lawrence each Fall to throw down some epic jams. Yonder is usually very upbeat, pleasant on the ears and easy to dance to. If the past 3 years are any indication, these two nights will be fantastic. If you can get a hold of a ticket for either night, do it! Liberty Hall, 8 p.m. Be There!