Words: Mike Sherry
This past Saturday night, the Boulder Theater played host to a long-running annual party thrown by local establishment Mountain Sun brewpub. Celebrating 19 Years of Funky Good Times, Mountain Sun assembled an impressive array of jam artists known as the Pearl Street Allstars for their birthday bash, including Colorado players Dave Watts and Kim Watson of The Motet as well as Kyle Hollingsworth of String Cheese Incident, plus Meters-man George Porter Jr. A rock-steady horn section was led by Dap Kings saxophonist Cochemea Gastelum, who pulled extra duty in the funky Robert Walter’s 20th Congress opening set.
[via Boulder Theater Facebook]
Pimps of Joytime guitarist Brian J regularly checked the temperature of the sold-out Boulder Theatre crowd, keeping the groove up for the better part of the first set, peaking with the Sam & Dave gem Wrap It Up. Things kicked off right for the second set with Gap Band’s classic Shake working its magic on everybooty. Kim Dawson’s sexy voice revved up the audience, rewarding the revelers with a spectacular lead on I Want To Take You Higher, and making a groovy torchsong of Stevie Wonder’s You Met Your Match.
The evening wasn’t without its quirky moments, as half the room cheered The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots and the rest scratched their heads. Dave Watts enjoyed a fine spotlight during an instrumental number, always keeping a danceable backbeat as he laid out melodic runs and flourishes on a very standard drum kit, begging the question “what would this cat do with Terry Bozzio’s or Neil Peart’s array?”
Later in the evening George sang a soft, pensive number with the refrain of “…thinking ’bout my friend,” which it turned out was a brand new number that emerged from the group’s rehearsal the day before. With all the old school material, horn arrangements, players assembling from the four corners, it was clear the Pearl Street Allstars had done their homework. Most tunes came off tight to the delight of the packed house, but not so the last number. While Talking Heads’ Life During Wartime had everyone jumping initially, lyrics got jumbled and breaks missed, and soon the train was well off its tracks. Not the finale they’d intended, that was sure, and a moment after the stage cleared Brian J came out and came clean: “Yeah, that was the last song. But…do you want to hear one more song??” The crowd happily agreed, and after a sedate but sweet Que Sera Sera things closed on a much higher note, as George led a thundering People Say to an energetic climax.
Proceeds from the night go towards supporting Boulder County’s non-profit radio stations KGNU 88.5 FM & 1390 AM.