Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Collie Buddz Exclusive Colorado Performance w/Live Band & The ReMINDers w/Liberation & Courier @ Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom - Denver, CO - 4/18/14 (Review)

Review By: Troy Manley
Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, located within the old Casino Caberet building on Welton Street in heart of downtown Denver, was home to a SOLD OUT performance by Collie Buddz backed by a live band - the only show he played in Colorado with the talented band. Also on the plate for the night were The ReMINDers, Liberation, and Courier.

SToK - a main sponsor for the event - had a table set up near the entrance where they were offering concert-goers some free gear. THESE specifically - I got myself a whole set. Fuck yeah :). Courier was already on the mic by the time we got into the main room. This Denver local has a deep rooted love for hip-hop and was quoted as saying: "I have learned so much from hip-hop and really look forward to everything it has to offer me. I get lost in it." Throughout what I caught of his performance it was obvious he was displaying his heart and soul while putting it all out there. I can only see good things coming in this dude's future.

Courier On Stage
Liberation opened their set by asking the crowd if they like reggae music, naturally the crowd responded enthusiastically. I tried searching for this band online but I had some difficulty locating them, so I can't really tell you much about their background. However, their show had it awesome points and its not so awesome points. For some of the songs they had a member of the band rapping. Although not bad, he definitely wasn't anything spectacular. Fast forward a couple tracks with him rapping. The lineup has shifted a bit. Rapper is back on bass and the guy playing bass previously is on an electric guitar lined up with a microphone. This is when their show got good. The guitarist had an awesome voice and the group sported a couple backup vocals - none of which were rapper man - that took it home. Their drummer and keyboardist were no jokes either. My only complaint was their bassist, the rapper, seemed to be unable to assume a role alongside the other musicians in the group while not rapping. He constantly trotted around stage around the guitarist/lead singer, who was stationary in the middle, coming to the forefront asserting himself for the crowds attention. Not too sure what the deal was there, but either way, when he wasn't rapping, this group killed it the reggae game. I would love to see these guys get at it again.
Up next for the night were The ReMINDers. Here's a short bio piece from their Facebook page: "The Reminders are a rare and remarkable musical duo seamlessly blending soulful sounds and roots music with insightful messages and thoughtful lyrics. The group consists of Brussels-born emcee Big Samir and Queens-born emcee/vocalist Aja Black, a collective creative force that’s hard to beat. Big Samir weaves intricate rhythmic patterns with a bilingual French/English flow, displaying his street-smart credibility in both his lyrics and cool demeanor. This is beautifully complimented by Aja Black's confident delivery, diverse cadences, and unique vocal stylings. The two have an undeniable magical chemistry as they share more than lyrical abilities and stages; the couple shares a partnership in both music and life as Samir and Aja have been married for almost a decade." These two kill it on stage. Aja's voice is spine-chilling and Big Samir's delivery plays off and emphasizes her skills even more. Having never heard of this group before I was definitely impressed and am looking forward to exploring more of their music - while I encourage you to do the same.

The biggest surprise for the night was a local group call Eldren. They were performing on Cervantes' Other-Side, a smaller stage located in the same building as the main stage that is accessed through a small door in the back of the venue. Self described as "a psychadelic dream rock super pop soundgasm that will grip your eyes and ears and leave you trembling with a sense of wonder and want." Let me say, that is pretty accurate. These guys were awesome! They were all dressed up in similarly odd attire, 1 female & 6 males - 3 of which sported hair past their shoulders. I missed some of The ReMINDers' set due to being entranced by these mystical beings on stage at Cervantes' Other-Side. Can't wait to make it out to Denver again to check these guys out for an entire show.
Taken From Eldren's Official Facebook Page

"Born Colin Harper in New Orleans, LA to a mother of Bermudian heritage with roots on the island dating back to the 1700s, his father passed away while Collie Buddz was at the tender age of four. At that time, his mother moved the family back home to Bermuda. It wasn't long before Buddz discovered more than his Bermudian heritage. Introduced to Reggae music by his older brother, Matthew, affectionately just known as "Smokey," by the tenderfoot age of 12, Colin Harper quickly learned his way around a music studio. It soon became apparent to everyone within earshot of the boy that his voice was unique in a way that lingers long after you've heard him." Just a snippet of the biography afforded to fans on Collie Buddz's Facebook page, it offers a small bit of insight for the listener. His live performance was spectacular, his voice sounded better than it does on his studio recordings - which is rare for his genre. You name it, he played it - all the hits. To make it even better, he had a live band supporting him. The guitarist was incredibly talented, and the drummer really held everything together. There was also an additional female vocalist on stage to provide some support for Collie Buddz throughout the show. For some odd reason it felt like he had said good-bye to the crowd and left the stage multiple times at the end of his show before exiting with no return. Didn't really understand what that was all about, but all-in-all it was an awesome performance by an extremely talented vocalist.  

Cervantes' did it again and lined up an incredible show like always. Should never expect anything less.

Collie Buddz


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