Beats Antique sold out of tickets for the Boulder Theater up to the very last minute. Whether everyone showed up for the music or the belly dancing, it's a safe bet that the venue full of gypsies, scenesters, dancers, fairies and anyone else privy to the next-level music came out for a highly anticipated show and got more than their money's worth. Openers Inspired Flight and The Tailor applied the perfect pace to set the tone for an evening of beautiful, organic music.
Inspired Flight, a duo of keys, vocals and electric guitar, played slow beats for the still-filling venue. The subtle, almost tranquil, melodies were felt throughout the room, as everyone began to get in the groove for the night. The theme, obvious for anyone who came to see Zoe Jakes, was dancing, and IF inserted just the right amount of energy into its set to get things moving without having everyone beading sweat and panting for air.
A recent addition the group, Ashley Marie Mazanec, came out to sing over a couple tracks.
The Tailor strutted out following Inspired Flight's set wearing a ragged white tank top, a neck tie that was cut in half and a newsie-style cap. The outfit matched the personality perfectly; it was as if we were all stuck in a parallel universe where electric banjo and a smoky voice somehow fit perfectly in an underground jazz club. With simple two-step looping beats playing on his laptop, the Tailor seduced everyone with soulful hums between lyrics that bounced on and off the track in perfect improvisation. "Belong Tonight," with it's repetitive hook and bobbing beat, was a definite peak in the set.
With his liquid movements and from-the-depth-of-emotion voice, the Tailor sent the place into a trance. A good kind of trance though, one that would make doing dishes a sexy evening task. It's the kind of music that everyone could undoubtedly agree would always be appropriate to play, no matter the time or circumstance, simply because it's soothing sound rings so lovely in your ears. Couple that with the Tailor's live harmonic improvisations and the whole thing made for a truly a great way to steadily innervate everyone's inner gypsy.
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The front pit had filled in entirely at this point with an eclectic, beautiful group of people. All ages, from 'tweens (it was mentioned by one of the artists that their friend brought his twelve-year-old) to seniors, lined the walls and railings of the Boulder Theater. The music welcomes everyone, including the stomach-showing emulators of Zoe Jakes, whose craft and profession are known internationally.
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Beats Antique came out, but the usual trio had an added member on the baritone saxophone. The last time Beats played in Denver was when the group opened for The Glitch Mob on Halloween , and this performance lacked the skeletal face paint Tommy Cappel and David Satori were sporting for that occasion. Jakes stood between Cappel and Satori, banging on a drum with the beat, occasionally sweeping the stage front where raised hands were twisting along.
The recent collaboration with Blues Traveler's John Popper on a track titled "There Ya Go" was a notable high point. The harmonica, blanketed in picked violin and a steady drum, set a different tone from some of the previous work. In the fall of 2010, Beats released its third album, Blind Threshold, which displays the band's growth from contemporary Middle Eastern music to a merged genre of electronic, jazz, pop and bass.
The music, in and of itself, is more than enough to sell out the Boulder Theater. The icing -- and the cherry on top, for that matter -- is the dancing. With two other dancers, Jakes seduced every set of eyes with each hip-hit and gyration. In a perfectly choreographed, mixed style routine, the three women undulated in sync, provoking erotic sensations with graceful hand movements and come-hither motions. Belly dancing is beautiful, and not because of the scantily clad women dancing before your eyes, but because the music seems flow through from their fingertips, rhythmically winding its way through the body all the way down the floor.
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Personal Bias: Excited doesn't do justice to describing what I was feeling for this show. Beats absolutely blew me away on Halloween, so a headlining show would be amazing. Belly dancing is a sexy, artistic expression. By The Way: There were 100 tickets left when doors opened that got snapped up pretty quickly.