What is dream-rock, you ask? Only Evanoff — the local band that uses the term to describe their own sound — could tell you that. Not only could they tell you, but as of October 18, they are able to show their fans as well. The Boulder born and now Denver based trio chose to release a live album consisting of recorded performances of new and unreleased originals, new covers and other old beloved tracks. The idea was to better showcase how the fusion of rock, jam and bass can come together and create a groovy marriage of sound that provides for an epic live experience.
The band got their start in Boulder, so it makes sense that a lot of the various selections that made the final cut of their live album are from performances in Colorado. The band has a strong following nationwide, but their Boulder, Denver and Colorado fans, in general, are heavily devoted to showing up for the group. For those that were in the audience for this show, this album will serve as all the more meaningful as Evanoff continues to grow.
The energy is what puts this recording aside from their previous endeavors. You can almost see the musicians on stage, infiltrating the minds of their fans with their favorite hits. The performance list starts off with the funkier jam “Crowd Control,” which eludes no doubt to the state of the fans while the track was being played. While the group is only three members — Brennan Forrester, Jake Hall and the namesake of the band, JJ Evanoff — the number of instruments they can play heightens the sound as if several more members are contributing. In “Breath Out,” Forrester does just this, setting down his bass and beginning the song with a lengthy piano intro, one of which a fan can be heard cheering on from the crowd.
The weirdness picks up with cover, “Anotha Brick,” which puts a spin on more than just the title of the Pink Floyd favorite. This section of the selection is where the dance party surely picked up, which is a good move, even if the listener is creating the party for themselves at home. “Collect Your Mind” continues to seal the commitment to the party vibe, and another cover comes in with “Ghosts ‘N’ Stuff” by deadmau5. Evanoff layering his insane guitar skills over the deadmau5 hit would be enough to turn any stranger to their music into a solid fan.
This live album will surely assist the group in helping fans realize that there are just some things that you can’t get from a studio recording. No other track proves this as true as the rendition of their fan favorite, “Roadside Melon.” Another cover, “Sky High,” shows homage to fellow Colorado group Big Gigantic and shakes things up in the second half of the album. The rock riffs over the synthy-electronic hit serve as a perfect example of dream rock. “Phaded” closes out the album with an intro from Evanoff at the Fox Theatre explaining how much the venue means to the band before they head off into their sample-heavy final song.
The album devotes a service to the band that could truly only come from experiencing what they are able to do on stage. In Denver, the saturation of jam-rock bands can be overwhelming. Offering a taste into what sets Evanoff apart into the world for fans to try out is a smart move and the first step towards gaining a few extra stubborn followers who are prone to couch life. Evanoff is sure to see some new faces in the crowd after the album has made a few rounds, and those faces are sure to stay for the long haul. Want to check out their live skills? Catch their first headlining show at the Bluebird Theater on February 15, 2019.