Author: Kenneth Myers
On Thursday August 23, the homegrown Colorado rock/hip-hop group known as The Flobots played at the Aggie. They were accompanied by bands Wasteland Hop and Wheelchair Sports Camp.
All three acts played reasonably short sets. The openers, Wasteland Hop, failed to endear themselves to me. The main problem with the group was balance. The bass actively drowned out the rest of the band, leaving their guitarist strumming without purpose. After their performance, the rap/ funk trio Wheelchair Sports Camp took the stage. Backed by pre-recorded bass and synthesized parts, the group’s main musical presence was the expert tenor sax, who brought a funk styling that gave the band a unique feel that over the course of their performance slowly built energy up until the end of their set.
The Flobots kicked off the show with high energy that continued throughout the set list. From a darkened stage, leader Jamie Laurie, also known by his stage name Jonny 5, started fast and didn’t stop. The set never skipped a beat, holding the crowds energy level from the first note to the last. In that energy there was an excellent level of control, the band would start songs and claim the crowd’s excitement well enough that when the bigger hits in the middle of songs came, the audience was leaping, euphoric and owned by the performers.
Special mention to Mackenzie Gault, the group’s violinist. Something of a rose among thorns, where Laurie and Stephen Brackett’s vocals were short, sharp and almost angry, her singing was longer, calmer and more morose. When Gault was given command of the stage, he short, sweet solos gave the set’s insane level of energy more of an artistic edge. Overall that’s why the band works. The violin ties the group together and led to the whole performance’s excellence.