The Malai Llama Lit Up The Fox Theatre's Stage Like A Wild Fire

By: Jura Daubenspeck

Spring has sprung, and Colorado has been keeping it as colorful as ever with vibrant sunsets, cool breezes, and music that won’t quit. Friday night at the Fox Theatre was one for the books, as experimental rock’s bad mama jamas The Malai Llama put on a headlining performance that exploded with color and rhythm.

The Malai Llama at The Fox Theatre last weekend. Photo Credit:   Kaotic Design Productions

The Malai Llama at The Fox Theatre last weekend. Photo Credit: Kaotic Design Productions

The venue was packed with new grads and rascals alike, all greeting the weekend with smiles, twirls, and yes- even a few dance-offs. Local improvisational rock group Intergalactic Peace Jelly took to the stage first, inviting attendees onto their spacecraft and blasting off for the night. Their experimental, jam-heavy set was the perfect launching point for the remaining performances.

The second act, Woodshed Red, brought up the energy in a totally different way, covering a variety of songs, with my personal favorites being “Ramble On,” “Nuthin’ But a G’Thang,” and “Colt 45.” The way they incorporated the fiddle and standup bass to create gritty twists to classic tunes made my heart sing.

By the time The Malai Llama took the stage, the crowd was fired up and ready to be wooed- and this band absolutely did not disappoint. There were so many aspects of Malai Llama’s set that blew me away: Jennifer Hartswick’s slay-worthy vocals in the “Immigrant Song” cover, the band’s mesmerizing onstage chemistry, and of course, the incredible lightwork with colors galore. However, what stood out to me the most was their dynamic force that made each song so unique. They managed to fill their two-hour set with so many different emotions and energies, playing songs such as “Allocamelus,” “Gentle Giant,” and “Cockeyed.” They toyed with metal-like riffs, hip-swaying funk beats, and electrifying dance music. Progressions were seamless, and no two songs sounded the same, leaving the crowd feeling satiated and at peace.

The band finished their performance with a cover of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” which had everyone embracing and feeling the love. The vibes were strong on Friday, as The Malai Llama welcomed the crowd acapella sing-along to their closing song.

Jennifer Hartswick. Photo Credit:   Kaotic Design Productions

Jennifer Hartswick. Photo Credit: Kaotic Design Productions

As an established musical dynamo within the Colorado scene, The Malai Llama has fearlessly put their killer chromatic tunes out in the world for all to hear. Their music moves as freely as the wild winds of Colorado, and the even wilder people living here. Be sure to check them out next time they hit the stage!

Connect with The Malai Llama on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

-Jura

All photos per Kaotic Design Productions. All videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

BADBADNOTGOOD Talk To Us About Who They Want To Work With Next

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD are best known for their interpretations and collaborations in the realm of modern hip-hop. The four piece post-hop and jazz improv group first came together in 2010 at Humber College’s jazz program over their love of MF Doom and Odd Future. Founding members Matthew A. Tavares (keys), Chester Hansen (bass), and Alexander Sowinksi (drums) actually released their “Odd Future Sessions Part 1” on YouTube after their jazz instructors were unimpressed with the project. Ironically, it grabbed the attention of Tyler, The Creator himself and went viral. Since then, Leland Whitney (saxophone) has joined the mix, and together the quartet have worked with Tyler, Earl Sweatshirt, Danny Brown, Ghostface Killah, Future Islands’ Sam Herring, Mick Jenkins, Kaytranada, and more. The band are currently touring on their fifth studio album, aptly titled 'IV,' which BBC Radio 6 Music called the #1 album of 2016. This weekend, BADBADNOTGOOD play Denver’s Gothic Friday (01/13), and will take Boulder’s Fox Theatre stage with Sur Ellz Saturday (01/14). Grab tickets while you can here, and in the meantime, check out our chat with this crazy talented crew:

You guys had quite the international tour recently. Any spots along the way you’re really hoping to get back to in 2017?

We went to a lot of new countries we’d never seen before last year- Japan, Israel, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico- they would all be amazing to visit again but we have a great time everywhere!

BBC Radio 6 Music picked 'IV' as their album of the year for 2016. What was your initial reaction to hearing that?

Very, very surprised to be honest. There were so many incredible albums we loved on that list and we didn’t feel like ours was a serious contender! We’re extremely happy about the recognition IV has gained. We’re also eternally grateful to our friends in the UK like Gilles Peterson, and all the other DJs at the BBC and otherwise for all the support they’ve shown us over the years!

What were some of your favorite albums dropped in 2016?

Solange’s A Seat at the Table, Kaytranada’s 99.9%, Anderson.Paak’s Malibu, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, A Tribe Called Quest’s We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, and Andy Shauf’s The Party, among many others!

BADBADNOTGOOD.

BADBADNOTGOOD.

Festival lineup announcements have begun. Anything you can hint at about your summer plans?

Sure! We’re going to be playing some incredible festivals across the world- Bonnaroo and Primavera to name a couple that have been announced. We’ll be around Europe, North America, and a few other trips are in the works. We’re also going to have a lot of time at home this year to record and get into some different projects! Peace and love for 2017.

Over the past couple of years, your collaborations with various hip-hop artists have been incredibly impressive. Who is next on your short list of peeps you’re hoping to work with?

We’d love to get a concise project together with Kaytranada. We’ve got so much work in the vault that has yet to come out, and he’s a great friend who’s a pleasure to work with. That’s probably top of the list right now. There are a bunch of other friends in Toronto who we’re stoked to record with too!

Give IV a listen:

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When are you headed back in the studio?

Pretty soon probably! No idea what we’re going to work on, or what it’s going to sound like though.

If you had to tell us in one word what it was like working with Ghostface Killah on an entire album ('Sour Soul'), what would it be?

Wow one word... Challenging but also rewarding and amazing!

Make sure to catch BBNG at their Colorado shows this weekend; keep up with BADBADNOTGOOD here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.