Lettuce at the Fillmore Auditorium, 12-13-13 (photos, review)By Nate Etter | December 16th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
On Friday night, the funk powerhouse Lettuce solidified its popularity in the Colorado music scene with the band’s largest show to date at the Fillmore Auditorium. A full brass section, intricate compositions and a slew of sit-ins helped push the band’s straightforward formula into unexpected sonic realms.
The night kicked off with an opening set by the Kyle Hollingsworth Band, keyboardist of The String Cheese Incident. Backed by the rhythm section of the Motet and fellow SCI bandmate Jason Hann front and center on percussion, Hollingsworth overshadowed mediocre lead vocals with an impressive set of organ-driven boogie. The band was quick to open up into improvisation yet thrived on familiar cheese hits “Lets Go Outside” and “Rosie.”
With a superstar cast of accomplished musicians and decades of touring under their belts, Lettuce is now a well-oiled engine of syncopated funk. Though the formula seems straightforward—machine gun horns over the soulful guitar licks of Eric Krasno (Soulive) and the pocket of drummer Adam Deitch (John Scofield, Pretty Lights)—the result is anything but predictable. Deitch sporadically dropped into sections of edgy modern hip-hop feels while the punchy retro horns of “Madison Square” paid homage to funk hits of old.
Female blues vocalist Alecia Chakour lent her powerful voice to the group on a handful of tracks, in what otherwise was a technically focused night of instrumental showcases. As what is becoming to seem standard for major jam shows in the Denver area, saxophonist Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic sat in for an energetic take of “Lettsanity.”
Nate Etter is a Boulder-based musician and a regular contributor to Reverb. You can reach him at Nate@EcoVessel.com.
Dylan Langille is a Fort Collins-based photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his photos here.