Sunday, November 3, 2013

Future Rock w/Zoogma @ Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom - Denver, CO 10/26 (Review)

A Review By: Troy Manley
I first discovered Future Rock at North Coast Music Festival in Chicago, IL this past summer. They played a set during the festival, and then another set as the direct support for Lotus at an official NCMF after party at the Concord Music Hall. Future Rock is an electronic rock trio hailing from Chicago, Illinois. The Trio - Felix Moreno (Bass & Synthesizer), Mickey Kellerman (Keyboard & Synthesizer), & Darren Heitz (Drums & Synthesizer) - came together in early 2004 and self-released their first album, Sugar Coated Bullets, on May 9, 2006. Less than a year later they were signed onto Harmonized Records and on their way to rising fame. The direct support for the night was the electronic rock group, Zoogma. While much less information is available about Zoogma, the 4-piece band consists of Brock Bowling (Guitar & Live Sequencing), Matt Harris (Drums & Live Sequencing), Justin Hasting (Guitars & Synthesizer), and Ryan Nall (Bass & Synthesizer). Unfortunately due to some lack of planning and unfamiliarity with the public rail system in Denver, I missed the opening act, Cosby Sweater.
Zoogma From Up On The Balcony
                I had never been to Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom prior this excursion to the Denver area. Electing to take the RTD – Denver’s public rail transit system – we headed out for the night and thought we had everything figured out and were set to arrive no problem. After a missed stop and an extra connection, we got off the RTD about a block away from the venue itself. That was awesomely convenient. After picking up the tickets at will-call and making it inside I was instantly in love. Cervantes has a pretty good sized general floor area with a long bar at the very back. To the right of the stage some merchandise booths were set up that offered a variety of things, not just band gear, so that was cool to see. There is a balcony that wraps around the main floor facing the main stage. The view is kind of limited at some spots because of big support pillars, but it was still awesome up there nonetheless. To make it even better there is a gigantic disco ball hanging in the middle of the venue above the floor.
Zoogma From The Floor
                By the time I got into Cervantes Zoogma was just about to go on the stage. I was pretty excited because although I had never seen them, my roommate – a big fan – highly recommended them. Although at times their sound seemed a little distorted and muddled, their high energy on stage and masterful transitions kept the crowd going all night. Bands like Zoogma thrive on chemistry between members on stage, which can either make the band exceed of falter under the harsh scrutiny of the crowd. But Zoogma, from song to song, maintained some awesome cohesion while transitioning between heavy hitting electronic dance beats and electronic rock. The band also incorporated elements of hip-hop, jazz, drum & bass, and progressive rock into their set throughout the night. Definitely check this band out if you’ve got the opportunity, they are pretty damn fun.
Setting Up For Future Rock
                Between sets a door to the back left of the stage was found that went into an entirely different, yet connected, venue. There was a more jam type rock band playing in there that night and it was like walking into an entirely different world. Finding that door was a special treat on the first visit to this venue. Only staying in there for a couple minutes, we quickly snagged a spot right at the front of the stage while they were setting up the stage for Future Rock.
Future Rock Kicking Ass
                Future Rock came on at 12:45 and the energy was incredible, the place was packed. There were people as far back to the bar as I could see and people were lining the balcony all the way around the top. The live performance combines loops, samples, keyboards, drums, sexy bass slapping to create an insatiable dance frenzy that was pair with an intense light show. The trio has incredible chemistry on stage and their music ranged from some banging house beats to some robotic sounding acid dance music. Throughout their show they kept their audience captivated with powerful transitions and their masterful playing. It was a real dance party the whole night, and many people even came in costume in the spirit of Halloween. Unfortunately we had to leave the show early to catch the RTD and make the correct connections in time. Next time we know to plan for an alternative way home from the show, or to stay in Denver for the night. Definitely check out Future Rock and Zoogma if either of their tours come through a city near you; and if you’re in the Denver area, definitely check out Cervantes' Calendar and see what other shows are coming up.


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