The show opened with Sophistafunk, an independent three-man-band from Syracuse, New York. They pumped up the early arrivals with their unique mix of funk, hip-hop, and Moog.  The combination of keyboard, percussion, and MC spitting lively rap-verses prepared entering fans for the funk frenzy that was soon to come.

Stage 48 just opened early February 2013. The venue had a lovely set up that emphasized the live sound nicely.  The dance floor was smaller and was lined with black couches and short coffee tables.  Two bars stood on opposite sides of the room with built-in lights in each bar top that made drinks sparkle.  The two story venue allowed each guests to have the amount of space desired and set an ambiance rarely seen in New York City.

The room grew quiet as The Motet rolled seven members deep onto stage.  The Motet consists of Dave Watts (drums), Joey Porter (keyboard), Garrett Sayers (bass), Ryan Jalbert (guitar), Gabe Mervine (trumpet), Matt Pitts (saxophone) and Jans Ingber (vocals, percussion).  The Boulder, Colorado natives wasted no time in putting down some tasty grooves.

As soon as the music began it was clear to everyone in attendance that each member of The Motet is an extremely talented musician in their own right and have much experience improvising.  Watts and Sayers led the band with a strong rhythmic backbone allowing funky experimentation from guitars to keys to horns.  Ingber switched from front man/vocalist to accent percussionist playing anything from congas, cowbell, tambourine, and even a bit of shekere (a hallowed gourd with beads around the outside).

The Motet’s sound cannot simply be placed into one genre.  It could be described as an evolution of funk, as they allow tradition funk music to adapt to modern technology. The root their sound displayed everything from funk, jazz, afrobeat, salsa, techno…you name it, they got it.  Their heavy rocking had the fans going wild, many of which last saw the band on Jam Cruise or had caught one of their previous ‘Funk is Dead’ sets.  The connection between the crowd at the musicians was strong as we all fed off of each others’ good vibes.

The show went late into the dreaded weekday night and the band closed with an epic group “Shakedown Street”.  I did my best to mop my melted face off the dance floor before exiting Stage 48.  For my first Motet experience, I was more than thrilled.  I came to the show a stranger and left a fan.

The Motet played a few East Coast shows, which were their first in awhile.  They had such a good time that they released their Howard Theatre in Washington D.C. on Friday night (4/26).  This is great listening material, we suggest you check this out!  Here is the link to the show.

-Diana Kumpf

Check out our photo gallery here, courtesy of Matthew Enbar (MenbarPhotos)

SETLIST: The Motet 4/25/13 @ Stage 48

Drop it
Like we own it

Nemesis >
Closed mouth

E: Shakedown Street