Bop Skizzum’s Oriental Theater funk soul philanthropy
RULE #1: DO NOT RUSH THE SOUL TRAIN LINE
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 01:01
Rarely do people get to do something brilliant for the community while bopping to a ferocious funky fortitude, but last Saturday night it happened with Bop Skizzum and The Cash Scanlon Phillips Foundation raising money for Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Any building that holds a musical venue like The Oriental Theater and allows its concertgoers to lounge comfortably on a sagging old couch deserves acknowledgement for having an eclectic seating arrangement. Ultimately, throughout the show with Bop Skizzum on stage, the couch was severely neglected due to the funk soul energy reeling listeners to the dance floor to swing and groove to some smokin’ jams.
Bop Skizzum opened with “Do You Want It?” off its new album Coloradical. The song reflected most of the show, with a formula that played a delicate balancing act of envelope-pushing musicianship with a load of hype-filled music. If Bop Skizzum added any more hype to its music it would tip over onto a conveyer belt of tunes headed straight for pop culture land. There is nothing wrong with that, but if the band laid off on some of the hype its strong grasp of music would shine out more.
Synchronized running-in-place and jump dancing frequently erupted between Julie Almeria, the fiery Philipino on vocals, Andy Rok, guitarist/backup vocalist, and Shane “SF1” Franklin, conga drummer/rapper, along with some great cover songs like “Bust A Move,” “Let Me Clear My Throat” ah huh ah huh ah, and “Superstition,” originally by the soulful Stevie Wonder. Joe Ferrone on trumpet and Serafin Sanchez on saxophone proved their horns knew how to blow daddy-o, continuously popping in their cannons of energy.
It isn’t uncommon to see fusion bands around Denver mixing up different styles of music, but it takes a lot of practice to make funk/soul/hip hop/alt rock fuse together—especially with seven band members, fast tempos, and wonderfully wild rhythms—and have it play out smoothly and seem almost effortless. It also isn’t often that a band starts a soul train line in the crowd with dance moves skipping down a human formed aisle.
After taking five for a fundraising raffle giveaway for Nuggets tickets and a flatscreen TV, Bop Skizzum continued a solid set with more songs like “Promise Land,” showing a precision that one only sees in bands with many hours under their belts, and they were bursting at the seams. This song was dedicated to Cash Phillips—the child the foundation was inspired by.
After the last notes were played on “Beauty Queen” the crowd’s contagious energy danced out onto the street to their cars. Even if this event wasn’t for a wonderful cause, Bop Skizzum is well worth the travel to The Oriental Theater. If the Bop Skizzum venue is a rockin’ come in a boppin’.