Last night, Dave Watts, drummer and bandleader of The Motet, and Scott Morrill, owner of Cervantes’ Masterpiece, threw a massive joint birthday party for themselves at Cervantes’ Other Side in Denver, CO.  For their combined 90th birthday, the two celebrated in style, with Dave Watts bringing together his supergroup, Dave Watts & Friends, featuring  Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company / Allman Brothers), Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff (Lettuce), Ian Neville (Dumpstaphunk), Gabe Mervine and Lyle Divinsky (Motet), Nicolas Gerlach, and Will Trask (Great American Taxi). Originally set to also feature Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk) who ended up having to cancel last minute, Watts’ fellow bandmate from The Motet, keyboard extraordinaire Joey Porter, stepped in instead to help celebrate and hold it down on the keys for the evening.

This stacked line-up of musicians certainly drew a crowd, as the Other Side was packed from wall to wall, and outside, there was a line curling around the block to buy tickets and gain entry. Following an on-point DJ set by Mikey Thunder with Fleeb on bass to get the crowd in the groove, this iteration of Dave Watts & Friends stepped out to the sold-out crowd and busted out an energetic instrumental number heavily featuring Gabe Mervine with some impressive trumpet solos right off the bat. While the first song set the tone for the night, with the emergence of Lyle Divinsky for the second song, the band truly dialed it in, with Lyle showing off his ability to build off and maintain a crowd’s energy and Ian Neville taking center stage with some soaring guitar solos.

As the band moved through the first set, smiles abounded on stage and in the crowd, as the impressive collection of musicians on stage continued to throw down super funky tunes. Toward the end of the first set, Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds joined in on the fun, coming out to join these friends in celebration and sitting in for a sexy funk jam with a tremendous solo. After Eddie’s departure, the band moved into Carl Carlton’s “She’s A Bad Mama Jama” to close out the set, much to the delight of packed house.

In keeping with tradition, during set break, a metallic pinata shaped like a disco ball dropped from the ceiling. The birthday boys, Scott and Dave, took center stage with sticks in hand. Dave Watts, however, was far too strong for the pinata, breaking it open with his first hit and showering the crowd with a variety of adult goodies ranging from condoms to plastic shooters to pre-rolled joints.

You can watch Dave Watts do a number on the adult pinata below, video courtesy of Emily Clark.

Adult piñata @cervantesmasterpiece

A video posted by Emily Clark ?⚡️ (@emilyclarkpassingfancy) on


Coming back out for the second set, the first song heavily featured the horns, with Nick Gerlach on saxophone taking the spotlight with some transcendent soloing before passing off to Gabe Mervine on trumpet. Highlights of the second set included a cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together,” during which Adam Smirnoff treated the crowd to some shreddy guitar stylings, and Will Trask and Dave Watts switching places, with Dave taking over auxiliary percussion and Will Trask holding it down on the kit.

You can take a listen to the funk this crew was brewing up last night at Cervantes below, courtesy of Emily Clark.

@wattsananda @cervantesmasterpiece

A video posted by Emily Clark ?⚡️ (@emilyclarkpassingfancy) on



I love you @wattsananda @cervantesmasterpiece @lyledivinsky @oteil_burbridge @shmeeans @gabrielmervine @chopsley @joeyporterhouse

A video posted by Emily Clark ?⚡️ (@emilyclarkpassingfancy) on


Also, check out this video via Paul McGinnis to get a glimpse of what the scene was like at Cervantes for the birthday bash.