By: Will Black
Euforquestra, the current incarnation of which consists of female vocalist Kim Dawson (of Pimps of Joytime), keyboardist Matt Wright, bassist Otis Lande, drummer/vocalist Jeff Peterson, guitarist/vocalist Mike Tallman, trumpeter Matt Bricker and saxophonist/vocalist Austin Zaletel, took the stage Saturday at Aggie Theatre, delivering a set comprised exclusively of Led Zeppelin classics.
Euforquestra stuck to Zeppelin’s script for iconic anthems like “Immigrant Song” and “Rock and Roll,” both of which elicited the appreciation as well as the sweat of the crowd. But the septet elongated and otherwise transformed other Zeppelin staples like “D’yer Mak’er” and “No Quarter.”
The former piece benefited from a funky jam section that began with a tasteful organ solo from Wright. After Lande initiated a breakdown, Wright fell into a syncopated pocket that cradled soaring phrases from Bricker and Zalatel. The result was a palpable reggae sensibility that exists only subtly in the original song. Still, the horn section maintained a distortion that felt enough like Zeppelin metal to prevent a mutiny.
The jam section of “No Quarter” saw Tallman supplement Wright’s mournful organ with screeching guitar lines while the horn section blew high, distorted phrases that completed the plaintive mood of the piece. Midway through, Tallman opted for a syncopated rhythm part that gave the jam a brief reggae influence reminiscent to that of “D’yer Mak’er.”
Dawson ably emulated the yelp of Robert Plant on such numbers as “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” but her alto range allowed her to reach pitches Plant could never touch.
Zalatel took lead vocals on “Fool in the Rain,” while the horn section accentuated the calypso elements of the song.
Though a number of Zeppelin die-hards danced and sung along throughout the show, Euforquestra is not Zeppelin. The horn section on stage left and the female vocalist in front of the band evinced as much. Still, on Saturday, the Greeley-based funk specialists became proficient, original, and welcome vehicles for the works of one of rock’s most influential bands
I’m Will Black. Pleased to meet you. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot happening on this 8,000-mile-wide sphere we’re all stuck on together. There’s plenty going on in each 22.5 inch wide sphere that rests upon a human being’s shoulders, too. I’ve heard every broken record that plays in my own personal 22.5’’ sphere. Writing, for me, is an opportunity to smooth over the ticks and pops on those records, and an effort to understand and lend expression to the myriad phenomena going on in everybody else’s little sphere. If I do that work properly, our ride through space on this big blue sphere should be a little more worthwhile, or at least a little more tolerable.