Article and Photos By: Joseph Smith
It's rare that activism and charity play a central role in the world of whomp whomp and untz untz, but Michal Menert
's 'Raindance' concert at the Boulder Theater a couple weeks ago put Colorado wildfire relief right at center stage. A silent auction in the lobby featured gear from Elm & Oak, Never Summer, Jiberish, Meant Clothing, Coalatree Organics, So Gnar, and countless local artists, while Grassroots California set up their own table and donated $5 from every hat sold to wildfire relief. As the venue slowly filled, patrons were made to pass by the merchandise, placing bids on posters and giftbags and purchasing raffle tickets for a chance to take home a snowboard, long board, or original artwork.
On the stage, Mikey Thunder got things started with an eclectic DJ set, mashing old hip hop classics with fresh electro hip-hop beats and flaunting his vinyl scratching prowess on top of it all. Up next was the debut of OG Status
, comprised of Julian Garland of Crushendo
, Clark Smith of DYNOHUNTER
, and Colby Buckler of Two Fresh
. This dynamic small-time supergroup fuses Colby's super tight glitch-hop and trap-step beats with Clarks soulful sax playing and Julians's dynamic bass driven synth production and hip-hop sampling, all together building a performance that was both familiar and refreshing. A brief set-break preceded Clicks & Whistles set, though only half of the North Carolina duo was present. The set was fairly short and without real staying power, but it did set the stage nicely for the quick set change into the evenings headliner.
Drummer A.C. Lao added an element of live performance to the stage while Michal got started dropping headbanging singles from his latest release Even If It Isn't Right
. Although he was without his typical touring production, LED screens and lasers provided the visual accompaniment to the set, which when combined with Michal's high energy on stage antics, were more than enough to get the crowd into a frenzy. The night ended with a surprisingly on-point rap ditty from the main man himself followed by the results of the raffle where several super stoked members of the crowd took home all the goodies from the silent auction one by one. Altogether the event raised $1500 for the Colorado Wildfire Relief Fund, no small chunk of change for a 1,000 person venue, and everyone left with some sense of social responsibility and righteousness, if not some kick ass gear. Michal's drive to give back to his home state in its time of need was at the very least inspiring and the sense of community and pride in the venue was surely palpable. As Michal stood in front of the venue to shake hands and meet fans after the show, it was clear that the Colorado scene is also about maintaining the beauty and integrity of the Centennial state, itself. With the tragedy in Aurora adding to the rough summer in CO, it's the people who embody the state who will begin the healing. Overall, the music was great, the crowd was rowdy, and the efforts were sincere, all the makings of an unforgettable night in an incredible state. Keep reppin' Colorado, you're doing it right.