Last night, Cycles and lespecial delivered a top-notch show in a rare intimate setting fans will probably never have the opportunity to see these rising bands at again–Lazy Dog Live Music in Boulder, Colorado. Both trios are currently in the midst of a brief Colorado run together, culminating with a performance at the inaugural SnowStalk hosted by Magic Beans. Shortly before their show, lespecial announced on social media that Neal “Fro” Evans of Dopapod would be joining them for parts of their set. With this announcement, and Dopapod’s recent start of their hiatus, a wave of excitement moved across the cozy Boulder bar.

Evans was in his element throughout the night, being both a Boulder native and a lespecial “fourth member” on numerous occasions. Last March, on the topic of Fro sitting in with the band, lespecial’s Luke Bemand explained to Live For Live Music, “Fro is a great ally and one of our favorite drummers. We’ve collaborated on stage before but not quite to this extent. With Fro and Rory on double drum kit we aim to create a tribal, rhythmic thunder the likes of which will go down in the legends of Asgard…We’re hyped.”

The lespecial boys got the night off to a rowdy start with the help of their favorite friend on percussion, and wowed the jam-packed room with their effortless ability to transition in and out of parallel genres. One moment the trio is rocking out with bassist Luke Bemand hammering out a Primus-like groove, and out of nowhere Jonathan Grusauskas takes the band on a livetronica journey, with catchy glitch-hoppy stabs on the keys. The crowd showed a warm Colorado welcome to the New England band that has built such a devoted following 2000 miles on the other side of the country.

Denver’s Cycles was up to bat next, delivering a home run performance on their home turf. Following a successful Colorado run with Kyle Hollingsworth Band earlier in the month, Cycles played their second show of a four-night weekend run, with the goal of executing a weekend of no repeats. Some would think this would be a tough feat for a band that hasn’t even been around two full years, but the trio showed no signs of pressure or fatigue during last night’s late-night hit streak.

“Something In The Water” opened up the show, guitarist Patrick Harvey scorching through solos with precision and acute awareness of his bandmates surrounding him. The guitar virtuoso spits out notes like rapid-fire, akin to Jimmy Herring at a ripe young age. A cover of Weather Report’s “Teen Town” > “Music’s For Free” followed, with bassist Tucker McClung locking in with drummer Michael Wood to take the psychedelic rockers on a deep exploratory journey.

Things got interesting later in the set, as Cycles invited up lespecial drummer Rory Dolan to give them a hand on vocals for a cover of Primus’s “Jerry Was A Racecar Driver.” The classic tune off of 1991’s Sailing the Seas of Cheese received extra special treatment, with McClung showing off his chops on the bass-heavy number, making any Les Claypool fan grin from ear to ear. Cycles followed with originals “The House” and “Auditorium Door”, showing that they still have many fan-favorite originals to go around this weekend.

Harvey invited Dopapod’s Neal “Fro” Evans up to help out with another cover cover from Les Claypool‘s extensive songbook, “One Better”. With Wood and “Fro” rocking it together on drums and percussion, McClung took the reigns on vocals, perfectly delivering on the wacky yet funk-driven tune. Cycles brought the night to a close with a cover of King Crimson classic “21st Century Schizoid Man”. Rory Dolan joined the three one last time on percussion, offering up some serious improv as Harvey tore through the beloved progressive rager. The extended cover served as a perfect exclamation mark on a Thursday night blowout.

Cycles and lespecial make two more Colorado appearances this weekend: Friday at Denver’s Cervantes Other Side, and Saturday at The Barkley Ballroom in Frisco as the day two support Colorado favorites Magic Beans’ SnowStalk. Ticketing information for Magic Beans’s SnowStalk can be found here.

For more information on the bands’ touring schedules, head to the bands’ respective websites (Cycles website; lespecial website

Below, check out a gallery of photos from the show via photographer Silky Shots.

SETLIST: Cycles | Lazy Dog Live Music | Boulder, Colorado | 1/25/2018

Something In The Water, Teen Town (Weather Report), Music’s For Free, Twilight, The Store, The Mess, Toy Pony, Hang It Up On The Wall, Green, Jerry Was A Racecar Driver* (Primus cover), The House, Audtiorium Door, One Better** (Les Claypool cover), 21st Century Schizoid Man* (King Crimson cover)

* With Rory Dolan from lespecial

** With Neal “Fro” Evans from Dopapod

[Cover photo: Silky Shots]