Eminence Ensemble at Cervantes OtherSide, 01/18/11

With DAMN RIGHT! and DJ Skywalkerr
01.18.11 | Cervantes Otherside
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Last night at Cervantes' OtherSide, Eminence Ensemble shared the stage with DAMN RIGHT! in front of an impressive Tuesday night turnout. Boulder's DJ SkyWalkerr bounced and bobbed as the opener for an hour or so, but didn't really set things off like when the headliners took the stage. Even though it was a work night, this one was hard to leave, and before you knew it, it was 1:30 a.m.

Filling in at the last minute, Skywalkerr drove up from Boulder to open last night, maybe to get some practice before his show this weekend at Cervantes Ballroom with NiTGriT and Jantsen. The Otherside on any given Tuesday, in my experience, has never looked like it did last night, though. Either Skywalkerr promoted the hell out of it, or word has spread that he's dropping some sick dubstep and people are taking notice. The hall wasn't filled, by any means, but seriously high energy and low-down-brown bass hits kept the party lively.

DAMN RIGHT! came out next: A keyboardist, a bassist and drummer who would give Bob Moog a run for his money on his own machine. For real, these guys came out hard and fast with some originals and a few covers, each of which got everyone amped.

Eminence Ensemble piled out next. Progressive rock doesn't quite define this band, but it comes really close. This group of young guys, which varies from five to seven members depending upon the show, can play! Guitarist Justin Neely's smiled widely throughout the entire show as he tore through the set, even coming out during one DAMN RIGHT! track and laying down a buttery freestyle.

The riffs were fast and building, the drumlines were on point and climactic and the keyboardist wove some great transitions. It was smooth, loud, fast, heavy rock that fits into so many genres, it's impossible to classify it.

Save for the close of the night, this show was everything but expected. Either they've got loyal friends or are just making the right ones, but Eminence Ensemble brought the party and delivered on the music. They've played Mishwaka and Sonic Bloom, and are gaining speed for the summer.

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: When I hear, "dude, I know these guys who are playing a show tonight, they are awesome," I don't get too excited. Especially on a Tuesday. That is now changed. By The Way: Someone's dad was at the show. That's parental support at its finest. Keep it up pops. And Guess What Else: The Inspector Gadget theme was covered as was "Another Brick in the Wall." Inspector Gadget made the roof shake.

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