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29

Soulive | Colorado | Brooklyn | Review | Photos

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Soulive
By Brad Hodge

Soulive :: 02.18.12-02.19.12 :: Fox Theatre :: Boulder, Colorado

Royal Family Recording artist Soulive certainly has a flare for the dramatic. The band's annual Brooklyn Bowl winter residency has become a staple in the yearly calendar of funkateers with a massive roster of special guests under the marquee of Bowlive. With the smashing success of the event, a modified version of the concept has now been bottled up and taken on the road to a few select scenes across the country.

The band has a long history with the Fox Theatre family in Boulder. So, it was exciting to see that we would have a three-night stop, billed as Snowlive. Special guests Jennifer Hartswick, Jon Gray and Jonathan Stewart would hold down the responsibility of horns, and JJ Grey would join in on guest vocals. Along with the weekend's shows, the band would host workshops during the day on both Saturday and Sunday. I jumped on board the weekend at the Saturday evening show, which proved to be a great choice. There was some classic Soulive trio action thrown at the crowd, and then the special guests began to make their way out from the shadows.

No one had any idea that Dumpstaphunk's Nikki Gillespie, Ivan and Ian Neville would join in—not even Soulive originally. The Dumpstaphunk crew played the Fox on Thursday, and was in the house enjoying the show. When Soulive realized they were there, they asked them to come up for the evening's close—a massive take on Stevie Wonder's “Jesus Children of America."

Sunday began with Alan Evans waxing poetic on the ideology of recording. The small, intimate crowd of listeners got to pick his brain on concepts behind microphone set ups, hear stories of multiple personalities being behind different parts of recording as a solo artists, and even hear some Krasno, Evans, Deitch, Hall stuff that had previously never seen the light of day. Then, Soulive, as a whole, had a loose workshop on the concept of succeeding as a band, which included a few very intimate warm-up songs for the evening's Rubber Soulive performance.

Sunday night was straight ahead Soulive. All of the special guests had blown town, and the funky trio went at it alone. The first set was riddled with funkiness, and the second set was loosely formed around the band's release Rubber Soulive. The trio took on The Beatles with reverence and respect, and handled playing instrumental versions of one of the most highly regarded lyrical bands in fine fashion.

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