Outformation, Fox Theater, Boulder, CO- 3/1
The front range of Colorado sees a bountiful taste of music. Along with national touring acts, local artists run the gamut from world-class bluegrass, to the world beat-infused sounds of The Motet and the heavy hitting rock and roll of Rose Hill Drive. The locally brewed Tao Jones Band funk-filled soul review set the tone perfectly for a rock and roll show at one of the countrys finest venues.
The show would serve as Outformations first night of an extensive Colorado tour. Seemingly to have found a second home in the mountain state, the band had a good turn out on the hill, and warmed the bone-chilling night with a heated display of old-school country, rock and roll and some new bridges for melding these sounds together.
After stumbling briefly into the beginning of Edgewater, Outformation hit the ground running. The big sweeping notes from CR Gruvers keys paired with Jeff Lanes Percussion and Grady Upchurchs relentless bass swelled as Sam Holt patiently progressed his attack until his guitar tone soared above the rest of the band. Much like the mountain roads a big sweeping turn took the tempo hard left with a great rendition of Michael Housers Cant Change the Past. After a mild explosion of technical difficulty, the band began to showcase the area in which they are most improved. Sam Holts voice feels more settled and comfortable out in front of the band, and Lee Schwartz sounded impressive taking on lead vocals from behind the kit.
One of my favorite aspects of Outformation is their reverence for good old country music. They band made this all the clearer with a cover of Shooter Jennings Solid Country Gold, which started a thread of such songs that would remain prevalent throughout the rest of the show. Holts Toys Lament followed and always boast the guitarists roots and devotion to the music of guitarist Toy Caldwell and the Marshall Tucker Band and. Bout My Money sandwiched some drum solos from Lee Schwartz and Birddog Lane, and Gruvers jived-up New Orleans-flavored solo.
At times, obvious comparisons can be drawn between the sound of Outformation and Widespread Panic at but this is an influence they dont try to hide. In fact their cover of Panics B of D celebrated it with perfection, as Holt can deliver the nuances of the late Michael Houser. Meanwhile, the band has a number of strong original instrumentals to pull from, including Titles of Movie Will Not Appear on Bill, Camper, and Valley Blue. Indeed, even as the band continues to embrace its influences, Outformation has utilized their first opportunity to really hit the road as a fulltime band to grow and develop its own footprint.