[27 February 2012]
PopMatters Associate Events Editor
If there is one thing about Soulive that you should know, it’s that they like to make themselves comfortable. Granted, I am completely making this fact up, but it seems to follow with their approach to things. Though the jazz trio tours consistently, as do their side projects, they quite often find themselves settling into a single venue to play multiple dates, bring on guests, and ultimately interact with their fans in an intimate gathering. The annual Bowlive residency each March at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY is a two-week-long party complete with high profile musical guests almost every night, not to mention bowling and great food. Their own imprint Royal Family Records is practically an extension of the band—supporting artists who Soulive not only enjoys and respects, but also regularly appears with.
In Boulder, Colorado this past weekend, Soulive once again made themselves at home playing three nights (dubbed Snowlive) at the small Fox Theatre with guests Jen Hartswick and J.J. Grey, and Royal Family Academy workshops each afternoon that were open to the public. The workshops ranged from “Songwriting and Music Composition” to “The Art of Being a Band On & Off the Stage”.
For the third and final show of this run, on Sunday the 19th of February, the second set was a recreation of the classic Beatles’ album Rubber Soul played entirely instrumental and modeled after Soulive’s 2010 record, Rubber Soulive, with some added improvisations thrown in throughout. Though attendance was low on Sunday, enthusiasm was not. The band themselves put on a stellar show full of solid improvisation with a backing of great energy, and the mellow crowd enjoyed every note.