As a rotating cast of 25 musicians, Snarky Puppy certainly has a one-of-a-kind sound, with even more influences than members. This sentiment was on display Saturday night at the sold-out Mishawaka Amphitheatre in Bellvue, CO.
The show kicked off with a song called “Beep Box”, a spacy, transcendental groove that set the tone for an exceptional evening at the Mishawaka. Amid the ominous rain clouds, the set continued into “Chrysalis” and then into “Semente”, picking up the energy of the show with heavy use of horn melodies with the flute leading the way. About halfway through the next song, “Bigly Strictness”, small drops of rain turned into tiny pieces of hail, prompting a universal putting-up of the hoods around the crowd. This was short-lived, as the night cleared up and ended up staying dry. This is part of the inimitable beauty of this venue—you never know what you’re going to get.
Bandleader Michael League took a moment to thank the crowd and announce the next song, “Bigly Strictness”, off of their new album, Immigrance. The syncopated rhythms of the performance could very clearly be seen reflected in the movement of the crowd.
Later in the set, a song called “Palermo” brought everyone together as League explained how to clap to the beat of the song as intended by its world influence. It was a very benevolent feeling to see everyone come together to help express another part of the world’s culture, along a river in Colorado’s Poudre Canyon. This is another part of the magic of this venue, it is truly a hidden American gem.
After doing “White Cap” and “Chonks”, two fun songs with hard hitting-funk overtones and danceable patterns, they went into “Shofukan” off of 2014’s We Like It Here. This is one of many Snarky Puppy fan’s favorite songs, which was made apparent by the number of phones taking video.
Overall, it was a show for the ages at “The Mish,” bringing people from all over the country to a small, beautiful section of our planet. The band was taken back by the beauty of this place, waking up in a tour bus a lot of the time means you’re looking at an alley or a dumpster, not a beautiful mountain river flowing past.
“Our first priority as a band is to have fun on stage,” League had to say about how they approach customizing the shows for the crowd. This was apparent as the show ended, as the crowd was buzzing in awe of the beautiful music and the unique experience they had just been presented. They always leave you wanting more, as any great musicians should.
Check out photos from Saturday’s Snarky Puppy Mishawaka performance below, courtesy of Sunny Side Production.