As the Earth spins us into another fall, the packs of souls still willing to rage at the outdoor venue of Red Rocks are showing up in the masses. The reason this past Saturday? An unreal lineup of Russ Liquid, SunSquabi, Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics, and the headlining duo that is The Floozies.
The two brothers, Matt and Mark Hill, have made quite the ruckus in the electronic world lately, and they came with all the guns to ensure that their hard-earned spot was secure. The Floozies tore down the Rocks like it was nothing, leaving a sea of yearning fans planning when to see them next.
The night began with a warm fall evening, as Denver had the sun shining on it all day. It wasn’t until the music started that the sun went down and the hoards of people wandering in from each of the four lots had to bundle up. Fortunately, Russ Liquid was the one to get things moving, and anyone who has seen this guy perform before knows that.
Just after 7:00 p.m., SunSquabi popped onto the scene. Talk about acts hitting the electronic party theme hard, these three jam kings from Boulder take no prisoners when it comes to spreading the funk. The trio performed a 45-minute set of mostly new bangers with a saxophone and trumpet in tow for an extra punch. Once the sun had completely enveloped itself behind the mountains, it was time for Michal Menert to show us all a pretty fantastic time.
As the seven (although a total of eleven people joined the set) people that incorporate Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics collaborated on stage, the entire venue finally began to fill and the party turned up a notch. The Denver-based producer brought fellow Denver musician JuBee, which fans also know from the Michal Menert Big Band. The two stole the show as they rapped over epic beats and a full band, complete with a trumpet, trombone, saxophone, violin, keyboard, drums and more than one guitar. Their announcement that it was their first time at Red Rocks came as a surprise, as the conglomerate of their musical platform seemed right at home. A cover of “Spirit in the Sky” added an extra element of classic to the otherwise bass-oriented set, a cover that was then succeeded by a “Shanghai” for the books. After Menert introduced each member of the band, they left the crowd grooving to house music, which was a glorious inspiration to a security guard’s intense moves displayed on the LED screen for all to enjoy.
Just before ten, the two main attractions were summoned by the darkened house lights. The crowd full of animal one-sies, faux afro-wigs, funky jackets and much more interesting attire took their positions facing the stage as the huge light show revved up. Matt, sporting a short mohawk, took to the infamous talk-box to belt out a reggae-funk jam that really shook the limbs of each member of the crowd, creating a wave of drinks and grooving hands. Each musician was dressed in a white tank, and there was a giant “M” in front of the musical station that held Mark’s drumset and another in front of Matt’s equipment.
The temperature was dropping, but for every degree headed south, the pace of the tunes kept the bodies moving and warm, especially when Jason Hann of the String Cheese Incident joined on hand-drums in between them.
“I have never been this happy, I don’t think,” declared Matt to the masses.
The producers jammed through a hefty setlist, sampling tracks like “Mike Jones,” “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “Fat Bottom Girls,” causing uproarious sing-a-longs from the members of the audience. “We’re all taking care of ourselves out there? We’re all best friends, right?” Matt asked, checking in on his fans like the caring, groove-inducing, booty-shake inspiring guy that he is.
As Mark smashed his O-zone cymbal and Matt pounded out banger after banger, the stunning light show orchestrated unreal laser formations on the rocks, and bursts of balloons wafted up consistently from fans’ release. Over the course of the entire show, it was clear how meaningful this night was to so many. The night marked an exceptional occasion from fans of all over the country, with fanatics in line boasting Wisconsin and Floridan origins. Matt himself repeated through the night how it was the greatest night of his life, eventually going as far to say, “This is the biggest crowd we have ever fucking played; this is the best night of my life. Let’s put our hands up like a fucking Skrillex concert.”
All photos by Jackie Collins. You can view the gallery here.