By: Vinny Crippen
The sun had just settled below the mountains in Denver on October 31st, and Halloween festivities were just starting take off. It seemed as though every venue in town had some type of bash going down, from sold out shows like Skrillex’s Mothership Tour at 1st bank to the Motet selling out the Boulder Theater—though it appeared to have very little impact on the turnout at the Cervantes Halloween blowout. The venue hit capacity at 11 with a crowd that was more than prepared to rage.
The party really started when local DJ Mikey Thunder hit the stage in a sailor hat with purple tufts of hair sticking out and a cigarette permanently stuck in his lips for the entire set. Thunder has been performing shows for quite a while now and it certainly shows in his live performance. He knew how to get the crowd going by busting out old school hip-hop beats, funk, and electro groove. The crowd screamed loudly half way through his set when they heard the bass line from Stevie Wonder's “Superstition,” and got down to other hits like Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Membrane.” From there he continued to warm up the already anxious crowd for the long night ahead.
Shortly after Mikey Thunder's set concluded, Michigan's Griz (real name Grant Kwiecinski) walked up to his computer and MPD dressed in a Boy Scout uniform. Cervantes has a reputation for being one of the dubstep capitals of the States, so it served as a fitting backdrop for Kwiecinski’s shenanigans. Griz brought the whomp and it was certainly a groovier bass-heavy style than one gets in the dubstep scene, utilizing cues from the world of funk. It appeared like Griz was playing all original beats, although he did drop a remix of “Power” by Kanye West partway through his set.
GRiZ - Where's The Love
About halfway through his set he grabbed the microphone and said “Where's Greg Fisk at?” Boulder musician Fisk from the duo Fresh2Death jumped on stage to a Macbook that had been opened and unoccupied for the first part of Griz's set. Griz finished out his Fisk-infused set with a unique synced laptop performance most of the crowd probably hadn't seen before.
Following Griz came another local act, Slim Thugz. The Boulder duo consisting of FrequentC (Cody Yozipovic) and The Candyman (Julian Garland) , came prepared to bring the heat. With synced Macbooks running Ableton, they laid down their original produced tracks that got the crowd going. One thing that pushes Slim Thugz into the next level is they clearly put on a live performance and not just a DJ set. Cody uses simply an MPK 61 to perform and not only does he perform and throw on effects with his MIDI controller, but he is constantly playing out synth and piano parts on his keys.
Slim Thugz’ set was coasting along smoothly until about halfway through the show a shirtless man, who appeared to be intoxicated, climbed on the stage. Many people had been getting on the stage and dancing for a short period of time until security kicked them off stage. This man, however, didn’t follow the same routine as the previous stage dancers that night. He got on stage right in front of the table Slim Thugz was performing on, which lead to him knocking Yozipovic's laptop right off the stage, stopping the sound, and necessitating the lights being turned on. Everybody looked at the guy as the boos started to echo around the theater. Meanwhile, security quickly kicked him out. Fortunately a girl in the front row caught the laptop and no equipment got damaged, despite the fact he landed on a snake pit of cords and had no room between the stage monitors and the performance table. Slim Thugz restarted their set as quickly as possible and finished out strong, even bringing out a special guest saxophonist dressed as an Indian for the last two songs.
Slim Thugz - The Resolution
It was after midnight and Halloween had technically ceded its time to November, but that didn't slow down the party. In fact, it was just about to get crankin’ because Denver's own Project Aspect was the headliner and ready to rage the crowd a new one. Jay Jaramillo has been on the scene for a while now and if you frequent the Colorado circuit, you've probably seen him before and might even know him personally. Jay stated at the outset that this performance marked the 3 year anniversary of Project Aspect. In just three years he has grown a lot and built up quite a following. During the past year he's opened for some of the biggest electronics acts in the nation, like PANTyRAid, EOTO, Big Gigantic, Kraddy, among others.
His set opened with what appeared to be a new remix of the theme to the movie Reqium for a Dream. His set was a big suspenseful build that pushed the audience into a heightened state of excitement. His first drop solidified his headlining status. From his first track he then proceeded into his remix of the Chromeo’s “Night by Night.” His laptop displayed the cover of Project Aspect's debut album Put This World on Hold. Throughout his set he continued to play a variety of tracks from the album as well as a few unreleased gems. Although he started his set in just a muscle shirt he ended up in a big bear head proving he did have the Halloween spirit in him.
Project Aspect - Space Jam
Despite the shirtless episode, the fact that the Otherside was blasting hardcore dubstep across the venue, and the whole state was invaded by major shows, the night was a huge success. Not only showcasing Denver’s talent, but bringing in some worthy newcomers, as well.
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