The Colorado-based seven-piece funk ensemble known as The Motet brought their high-energy live show to the Teragram Ballroom near downtown Los Angeles. The enthusiastic audience at the standing-room only venue swayed to the beats, shook their booties and sang along with the band late into the night.
Seattle retro-soul band The Dip opened the show. They are also a seven-piece group with a sound reminiscent of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings as well as Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires. The Dip’s lead singer Tom Eddy is a strong vocalist and guitar player. The outstanding horn section of Brennan Carter (Trumpet), Levi Gillis (Tenor Saxophone) and Evan Smith (Baritone Saxophone) along with the rest of the band kept the crowd dancing throughout their hour-long set.
The Motet is set to release a new album, Death or Devotion, on January 25, 2019, and tested out several of the new tunes during the show, in addition to playing a few songs from their older albums as well as doing two inspired covers.
They opened the show with a new, explosive instrumental called “Kneebone.” Vocalist Lyle Divinsky gyrated out from the wings after the opening song. He belted out tunes and danced barefoot for the entire show. Divinsky led the band through a great cover of Sly & the Family Stone’s soul/funk classic “I Get High on You.” The song featured excellent solos and horn arrangements from Parris Fleming on trumpet and Drew Sayers on saxophone. Divinsky also got the crowd to sing and clap along to “Back It Up” from their 2016 album Totem.
Next up was another new song with a very funky beat called “Contagious.” Divinsky left the stage while the band played a trippy, psychedelic instrumental called “The Fountain” from their 2015 self-titled album The Motet. Ryan Jalbert played a particularly mind-blowing guitar solo during the song and continued to impress with his inventive solos all set. Divinsky returned for “So High,” another song from Totem that featured keyboardist Joey Porter on a vocoder voice tube.
And then it was on to a rousing version of their newest single, “Whacha Gonna Bring.” The song is super funky and was released recently in conjunction with voter registration non-profit HeadCount’s Get Out the Vote Campaign. The band played three more new tunes: “Highly Compatible”; a funky, jamtronica instrumental called “Speed of Light”; and the new album’s title track “Death or Devotion.”
Near the end of the set, the band busted out “Knee Deep,” a George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic cover that had everyone boogying hard. They closed the show with “Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed” from 2014’s The Motet. Dave Watts played a drum solo and Garrett Sayers joined in with a funky bass beat as the rest of the band helped close out the show. The encore was another new, hard-rocking song called “Get It Right.”
Based on the new songs the band performed, the Death or Devotion album is going to be smoking hot. The Motet’s live show is always a sonically explosive dance party and after this terrific show held on a warm Southern California November evening, they sent a lot of happy, exhausted fans home with fond memories.