Headlining the night, Congo Sanchez, is a three piece world fusion group comprised of DC talents Jeff Franca, Haile Supreme and Flex Matthews. The trio made themselves at home last Wednesday in Denver for the weekly Re:Search show at Cervantes. It would be a few hours until the group hit the Other Side stage, but we had a plethora of impressive openers to hold us over.
Gracing the stage for the very first time, writer turned rapper Louis Fagelson aka King Louie unleashed some ethical flows while Mikey Thunder and Jordan Polovina hosted the cypher to kick off the night. Albeit it was early, a crowd certainly drew close to support this newcomer on stage. The cypher brought many of Denver’s most talented MCs to the sesh, including Richie Wallace aka Small Hands, Jade Elise from Sassfactory, Looney Ando, and Benjamin’s Vibe from The Party People. The cypher ended fittingly with a freestyle featuring most of the MCs mentioned above; all-in-all it was a strong start to the night.
Mux Mool was the next artist to take the stage. The Super Best Records beat maker brought his masterful pad abilities back to Cervantes for a deep space funk set that had the crowd shaking. The pad wizard played on his sampler throughout the set, bringing fresh beats to every track. His improvised finger drumming was as impressive as it was alluring – inviting listeners to watch as he flipped his own beats in real time. The set was dope and I’m glad I finally got to see him perform.
Eagerly awaiting the headlining set by Congo Sanchez, I was ecstatic when they began to fill the stage with special guests. Saxophonists Nicholas Gerlach and Drew Sayers, percussionist Will Trask, guitarist Mike Tallman, and keyboardist Borahm Lee all made appearances. The high-energy set fused more genres than possible to list. Bouncing around the stage, Congo’s ’ loud, in-your-face style engaged the crowd and blasted listeners with Caribbean genre-mashing goodness.
Up next we had special guests GRiZ and Shooka. The pair proceeded to throw down a rambunctious yet generic set fueled by upbeat house and trap. We still had Digital Beat Down coming up, but it’s always difficult to stay until closing when work is on the brain. Leaving midway through the GRiZ X Shooka set, we definitely enjoyed yet another round of Research! See you all tonight for Dreamers Delight, Marty Party and Edamame!