FaceMan's First Waltz at the Bluebird, 2/4/11
02.4.11 | Bluebird Theater
It was only one of many chaotic scenes in a four-hour show that featured almost forty different musicians. Members of the Knew and the Outfit crowded onto the Bluebird stage Friday, sharing space with the show's headline trio, FaceMan. As the guest musicians hurried to tune instruments and check sound levels, FaceMan's eponymous frontman took the brief pause between tunes as a chance to sum up the spirit of the show.
"It's sort of like an iPod Shuffle up here," FaceMan, aka Steve, joked from his seated spot on a pedestal in the center of the stage.
His assessment wasn't far off. While the show ostensibly served as a CD release performance for FaceMan's debut, self-titled album, its scope and size made it something much more significant. FaceMan took the title of the show from the Band's famous farewell performance, "The Last Waltz," and Friday's performance boasted the same type of rare celebration, the same degree of unabashed joy in performance.
Indeed, the evening had the feel of a rare showcase, an ambitious collaboration that eloquently highlighted the depth and breadth Denver's homegrown musical talent. While FaceMan used the forum to debut tunes from its ten-song album, the setlist was dizzying in its diversity. Guest players shuffled back and forth on stage, offering expansive, energetic versions of tunes from their respective repertoires.
K Buzz and the Brassheads opened the evening, playing brass-heavy, marching-band versions of pop standards like Paul Simon's "Kodachrome" and Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" near the theater's bar. The Construct, a Fort Collins-based duo, played a straightforward set in the pit before FaceMan started the program in earnest, offering stark songs composed of looped guitar lines, explosive drum accompaniment and driving vocals.