The last stop of the Vibrant tour was on March 9th and man, did it end with a bang. The final show was held at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, a medium sized music hall in Denver Colorado. Brasstracks funked it up with the most pleasurable mixture of sounds through jazz, bass, hip hop, and RnB/They truly got jiggy with it and you could visibly tell that they were having a blast.
Their first opener was a hip hop producer from Denver named JusChill and he warmed up the crowd with some groovy beats and vinyl mixing. Despite a smaller crowd, most people were dancing and vibing with the music. JusChill was friendly with the crowd and made a perfect introduction to the night. Each performer was highly interactive with the crowd, and in a smaller sized venue, it made the show more intimate.
Kemba, a rapper from Bronx, New York came on and the the crowd instantly became hyped up. The venue was filling up, and as he began rapping his newly released single “Deadass,” the audience was cheering and bouncing with the beat. He was interactive during and between songs, including the audience to sing specific parts, which always creates a comfortable vibe between everyone at the show.
There’s a difference in audio as you move around Cervantes, so as I headed to the center of the upper balcony, I lost the vocals a bit, but I was able to feel the bass vibrate through my feet. I was able to hear Kemba better as I got closer to the stage, and I could understand every word. Kemba had incredible enunciation throughout the entire night, which was especially impressive with how many rhymes were weaved through the middle of lines, over such intricate rhythms.
Kemba spoke friendly with the audience, introduced songs playfully like “this next song is like a therapy session.” He was an easy performer to enjoy and had no problem getting the audience excited for Brasstracks of come out.
At around 11:15, a bright neon pink sign lit up the stage, showing the Brasstracks logo, and Ivan Jackson and Conor Rayne finally came out. Sounds of horns filled the ballroom and the entire audience started cheering. They jumped right into the funk with “Say U Won’t” and “Will We Ever Know” with help from an extra trumpet and trombone player. There was no easing into the music, we were immediately thrown into the playful groove and everyone was dancing. The drums were amplified through the speaker, emitting much more bass than I would’ve expected from a group like this.
One of their best songs performed was “Fever.” Everyone on stage was grooving from side to side with the flow of the horns, and the audience was the same. It really felt like a giant dance party no matter where you were in the venue. They performed multiple covers, including “In My Feelings” and “My Boo,” and encouraged the audience to sing and dance along.
The biggest highlight of this show was the amount of guests they brought on stage to perform with them. When Kemba came out, his articulation was even better than when he performed on his own, and the long notes from the trombonist made him sound more dramatic. Shortly after Kemba left the stage, Ivan announced another special guest: Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic. They went all in, jamming so hard you could see the veins in their necks. Immediately following, they brought out New Orleans rapper, Pell, to perform Big Gigantic’s “Miss Primetime,” which was one of the most exciting moments in the night. Pell was hyped the entire time he was on stage, and he even launched himself into the audience to crowd surf three times.
The last guest they brought on was a talented RnB artist, R.LUM.R, to perform “I’m Alright.” His vocals were delicately ranging from low to high pitch tones, and the final note was beautifully matched with the instruments of Brasstracks.
Each individual artist had strong chemistry with one another, goofing around by making faces at one another, hugging one another as artists went on and off the stage. Ivan Jackson on the trumpet was one of the most entertaining people to watch perform. His fingers fluttered over the keys of his trumpet as he played it with one hand, he’d get down on his knees dancing to the music, and had facials and hand movements that seemed like he was rapping through his trumpet. Both members of Brasstracks were incredibly thankful and expressed it throughout their concert.
The show came to an end with Brasstracks and Pell performing “Vibrant,” and they became emotional, thankful, and intimately sharing with the audience. Ivan Jackson invited his band’s entire crew to come out on the stage and he introduced then thanked each person on stage before they all took a photo with the crowd. Ivan Jackson explained that the last song is about their listeners and supporters, that we are the reason they get to do what they do. The encore of “I’ll sing about you” brought the show to a full close around 1:15am, and the crowd was left elated after 2 full hours of brass talent. It was an incredibly entertaining show jam packed with groove, smooth rhythms, rhymes, raps, dancing, and positive connections between the performers and audience members.
Written by Stephanie Regan
Photography by Jason Habib