The week of Random Rab’s performance in Boulder at the Fox Theater saw temperatures dip from the 70s down to the 30s in a very short time frame, something which the locals are accustomed to. Thankfully, Random Rab, along with Saqi and Moon Frog, brought a healthy dose of warmth and love to crowd on Friday night. This was their second of three performances in Colorado on their nationwide tour. It was my first time seeing any of these artists perform live and I was definitely blown away by their musicality and the passion they brought to the show.
Moon Frog was the first artist to perform that night. He was greeted a by smaller crowd, which suited his music actually because it turned out to be very relaxing, but groovy at the same time. One of most interesting parts of his music was his unique use of rhythms. There were some really interesting polyrhythms present in his music, with different sounds, both percussive and melodic, building on top of each other’s rhythms. The small crowd that was present for his set gave him a very positive response when he finished and it was sad to see him go.
Fortunately, the crowd was in for a more great music and surprises from Saqi. He emerged from backstage with a trumpet in hand and very positive vibes. From the outset, his music was noticeably more aggressive in terms of tempo and beats than his predecessor. At this point in the evening, the theater was filling up more and the air grew hot with excitement. Saqi’s funky and groovy music really got the crowd dancing. Finally, when he started to play his song “The Well” he whipped out his trumpet and let loose. With a chorus effect added onto it, it was pretty cool, making it sound like an entire brass section of a jazz band. This was definitely a very different style of music and performance, but he executed it very well. Saqi also brought out his trumpet for the song “Incantation”, but this time he played more a of a latin jazz melody which was amazing. For a big surprise, he brought out a local guest musician, Caleb Kronen, to play guitar for his next song “Drippin’”, which had a nice bluesy feel to it. Caleb’s guitar performance provided really nice rhythm and “oomph” to the performance and was a perfect combination with Saqi’s trumpet performance. Alas, after a very diverse and amazing performance from Saqi, his set was over and we transitioned to the main event.
The stage was set up with a golden booth from which Rab mixed his music, but around that were countless lights set up on the stage along with two plain-white female mannequins. What this turned out to be was a setup for a kickass light show. It initially started out with the logo from his latest album, Release, being projected onto his booth and more heavenly white lights being projected onto the mannequins, all while the initial, glorious chords to his show kicked in. One of my favorite songs of his set was “Blast Off”, for which he brought Saqi back out to “sit in” with his trumpet. The song by itself is already really nice, with very chill bass and chords. Add Saqi’s trumpet playing onto it, and you get a whole new classy flavor from it. It was really awesome that they collaborated like that, looking for ways to build off of each other’s musical talents and tastes. However, my favorite song of the night was “Fate Shadow”. There was just something so appealing about the long bass notes and echoing melody that enraptured me, especially in the Fox Theater, because their sound system is amazing, making my very soul vibrate with each note that it unleashes. Random Rab put on an amazing show overall and it was truly a privilege to see him live. His extremely unique blend of music opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that music can become. Most of these songs were from his latest album Release, and his tour will be continuing eastward across the nation, performing next on April 8 in St. Louis. All three of these artists were a huge pleasure to hear and I encourage anyone who enjoys a wide variety of music to go and experience the amazing art they have created.
Written By Pierre LaBelle