As the lights rose for the encore, multi-instrumentalist David Satori made sure to inform everyone at the Fillmore the importance of voting, and then went on to note that if you weren't planning on taking part in the process then in the very least, you need to start a revolution. The crowd erupted in response to this notion. Immediately following this, five animal dancers came prancing out, welcoming an inflatable squid that took over the whole stage. In the mouth of the squid stood Zoe Jakes fighting, pushing and struggling to break free from the tentacles, all while wearing a horse-head mask and skin tight body suit. This is Beats Antique in its natural habitat.
For this Halloween show, Beats Antique took all the creative liberties it could with its set, and it worked out perfectly. To start, belly dancer and musician Zoe Jakes didn't immediately come out with hips blazin' to the beat, but instead, she played along to the beat with her drum and let the sweet operatic vocals enthuse the crowd. Abstaining from the usual visual spectacle right in the beginning showed that although Beats Antique is notorious for a performance piece, the group is not constrained to strictly that type of show.
"Crush" and "Siren Song" both opened up the night, and it wasn't until those were finished that we were finally treated to the belly dancing displays the outfit it known for. Jakes and her fellow dancers, Oberon and Kami Liddle, shared the stage at different moments throughout the night, performing a range of routines that at times mimicked burlesque but never over stepped the boundaries of sexuality. Toward the end, the trio came out to "Bus to Balkans" and performed in unison a perfectly choreographed routine with each dancer receiving ample spotlight time.
Sidecar Tommy and David Satori need no introductions at this point, but it seemed by the way they were playing that they couldn't help but enjoy the moment. The beads of sweat dripping down Satori's face showed the fervor, but it was the nonstop enthusiasm from Sidecar Tommy that really kept the energy up.
It was a nice change of pace from the previous Beats Antique shows due solely to the way the set list was arranged and performed. Classic tracks "Beauty Beats," "Dope Crunk," and "Egyptic" were all played perfectly, even when Tommy and David would take the opportunity to throw in an extended intro to the song or carried the bridges into improvisation. The execution was flawless and gave new life to songs that are relatively guaranteed to please at any Beats Antique show.
In a very exciting turn of events, Lynx joined the trio on stage for a second time (the first being her deliverance of "Crooked Muse" alongside two mermaids) for a ghost-of-punk-rock rendition of "Whole Lotta Love." Wearing a mohawk wig and a cherry red pair of sunglasses, Lynx wailed as Robert Plant's medium and the entire place joined in singing the hook to the classic rock song.
As the set neared its end with "Catskills," Beats Antique's signature animal dancers took over the stage, jumping around and feeding off the crowd's energy. Jakes emerged as a lone horse bringing out the inflatable squid, which was easily twenty feet long, which completely engulfed her.
After performing one of the best set the group has ever delivered, the show came to close with the entire crowd singing along to "Bohemian Rhapsody." No instruments, no vocals: Just the entire place singing in unison along with the two instrumentalists, both in hot dog costumes, and the lead dancer who was orchestrating under a lion head. Beats Antique lives for Halloween, and Denver welcomed it with open arms.
Before Beats Antique, Zion I performed a set of songs that bridged the gap between hip-hop and electronic dance music. "Coastin" was easily the highlight of the set. Zumbi was brought out towards the end of Beats Antique's set for a freestyle, while Oberon, one of the dancers who performed alongside Jakes for the night, dropped the dirtiest crunk dance ever. She got low, rolled her hips around and shook what her momma gave her like it was the last time she ever would. There was not one set of eyes not fixed on those wonderfully gyrating hips.
Minnesota opened just before Zion I and played a slew of electronic mash-ups. Teasing samples of Pharaoh Monch, Notorious BIG and other classic hip-hop tracks worked well, but each time the energy would get raised, the transition would start all over and require the same build up again. It was, however, quite enjoyable to hear MartyParty's version of "Rolling in the Deep" on a night when he was playing a set just thirty minutes down the road in Boulder.
Personal Bias: This show marked my three year anniversary writing reviews for Backbeat. It started with Bassnectar and Beats Antique at the Fillmore on Halloween in 2009, and this night was spent with the same person whom I attended that first show with. Needless to say, I was very excited.
Random Detail: Beats Antique fans go all out for Halloween.
By the Way: Letting that crowd sing the final song in unison with the track might be the coolest way to end a show.
Beats Antique Fillmore Auditorium - 10/27/12 Denver, CO
Opera/VOODOO Crush Siren Song Skeleton Key Colony Collapse Stash Crooked Muse Nesatovo Beauty Beats Alto Skeleton Dance Pandora's Box Dope Crunk Egyptic Hero I Got Balkan Came to get down
Catskills Bohemian Rhapsody
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