Concert Review: Michal Menert Big Band

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After I had waited longer than usual for an Uber, and stood in line out in the rain, I could not have been more thrilled to walk through The Fillmore doors last Saturday night. I was greeted by the soulful electro-funk sound of Orchard Lounge’s set and an inevitable amount of wooks. With the electronic music scene being dominated by male artists, it was beyond refreshing to see a female artist in this trio. I danced my way to my favorite spot in the auditorium, which has the perfect combination of bass, closeness to the stage, and room to move. “Don’t walk over there!” was yelled at me as I was pushed back by a security guard; there is puke everywhere. Stay classy Denver, stay classy. I walked around the mess and continued my mission to my spot.
But of course by the time I get there, the set is over.

We are waited for five minutes, ten minutes, what seemed like twenty minutes… when the band finally came on, dressed to a tee in black suits, followed by the great one himself, Michal Menert. The crowd erupted with joy and with excitement because this was nearly everyone’s first time hearing the Big Band live; we knew we were in for a treat. He began with the climatic Moon Bounce, preparing the audience for launch into his personal space jazz world. Once Michal threw his fedora, the crowd knew it was on.

The good vibes were off the charts, the entire Big Band was gettin’ down, and the audience was all smiles. Around 11:40 the show got better than I could have ever expected when Paul Basic and C1 appeared on stage to perform Sweet Remorse, which to say the least sounded pretty sweet. The atmosphere up front was unreal, but with the amount of dancing I had been doing, I had gotten kind of sweaty, and was dying for an ice cold Coors. I pushed my way through the hippies and past the folks who got way too fucked up for a funk show, and I see her. A girl who was feeling so euphoric and in her own world, that she stripped off her shirt and was dancing in simply a bra. One may judge this as trashy, but one may also see this a form of expression and genuine love for Michal’s music and the atmosphere at the show that night.

Around midnight Michal did, what are in my opinion, the two most radical things of the entire event. First he came to the front of the stage and switched into his rap alter-ego AES, and began to freestyle. Yeah thats right, Menert himself was fucking freestyling for us and absolutely slayed it. Then he started to slow it down and did something powerful. He announced that he was dedicating his next song, Your Ghost, to his father (whom he had spent much of his life taking care of). Wow. He then gave a shout out to his mother, and said, “I want my family to meet my other family”, referring to us, his fan family. Within that minute he had connected to the audience in a way that he had not done thus far in his act. The crowd applauded and for the last half an hour of the show, the Big Band and Michal poured their hearts out on stage, and the crowd loved every second of it.

As we heard the first seconds of Michal Menert and Pretty Light’s Summer Love, we melted into each others arms, all swaying together before breaking into one last funk sesh horrayh. As the music ended, the Big Band bowed onstage, and Michal jumped onto the floor to take photos and meet his fans. I have been to countless shows, but the times I have seen an artist do this I could count on one hand. After witnessing this performance I can undoubtably say that Michal dedicates his everything to his fans and his music.

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