A Ghost Light is a bulb left energized in a theater after all the other stage lights have gone out. It’s a theatrical term steeped in superstition, but it’s the perfect name for the new project from musical collaborators Tom Hamilton and Holly Bowling. Both quite well known in their own right, together with Steve Lyons, Raina Mullen and Scotty Zwang, have built an impressive, new musical project. Ghost Light is as eclectic as the members that make it up, but one thing is for sure, these cats can jam. Their style is not easily describable, but it relies heavily on intertwining harmonies and a progressive approach to rock, funk, space, and jam. This was a three set show with a pair of openers including Boston’s The Jauntee and Northern Colorado’s Amorphic.
Up first to the stage was Amorphic. This four-piece group hails from Northern Colorado and features some amazing musicianship. Amorphic focuses on a wide range of musical styles including rock, folk, latin, funk and more. By incorporating improvisation into their live shows they create a fluid and rich sound steeped in unpredictability. Their set was short lasting only around forty-five minutes, but they definitely made an impression on the early arrivers.
Set 1: Hill, Hole In My Sole (Rain), Super Grooves, And In The Middle
The highlight of their set was a tremendous jam during “Hole In My Sole (Rain),” which saw this band blasting off into the stratosphere. Amorphic is tight and ready to take on the Colorado scene. Their music is definitely worth your attention.
The Jauntee is currently making waves in the world of live music with a relentless schedule and several stops at festivals across the country. Founded in 2010 it would appear that this band is ready to break out of the East Coast and share their sound with the world. Hailing from Boston The Jauntee is an impressive mix of music featuring rock and jazz-inspired jam.
Set 1: Peepin’ Steeno, When the Love Is, Jelly Time> Tomorrow Never Knows> Dunes> I Wanna Love You (Just For One Night)
The Jauntee is a member of the new wave of jam that includes the likes of Twiddle, Aqueous, and Mungion. The band averages over one hundred shows a year with no sign of slowing down. They are insane when it comes to touring with a focus on spreading their name further west. They played an intricate and interesting set that lasted just about an hour. Their cover of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” was a big hit with the crowd.
After a boatload of anticipation the members of Ghost Light appeared on stage. Given that they had two openers the band opted for one long set. The show would go on for about two hours with lots of twists and turns. Hamilton acknowledge that this was their first time performing in Fort Collins and thanked the audience for taking a chance on a new band. This project is so new and constantly evolving that some of the songs don’t even have permanent names including the opening number, a raging, funky tune tentatively entitled “If You Want It.”
Set 1: If You Want It (title unconfirmed) > Old Time Religion > If You Want It > Waiting for a Miracle, Diamond Eyes, Boy > Don’t Come Apart Just Yet, My Darling
Encore: Bullseye Blues
Ghost Light is made of some incredibly talented people and they too seem to be riding high on the resurgence of jam. Their music is comprised of huge soaring compositions stitched together with the occasional lyric. Their setlist doesn’t do much to convey the two plus hours of incendiary jams put out by this band. Holly Bowling’s incredible piano work was featured on “Old Time Religion” before they returned to the opening funk tune. Hamilton took the vocal duties for the Dead-esque “Waiting For A Miracle.” Next, we got a chance to hear Raina Mullen’s powerful lead vocals on “Diamond Eyes” before Scotty Zwang the former drummer from Dopapod lead the band through “Boy.”Don’t Come Apart Jet Yet, My Darling” was another huge vehicle for collaboration featuring some of the deepest jamming of the night. They returned with the rowdy rock tune “Bullseye Blues” to wrap it all up.
Ghost Light has all the tools necessary to be a headliner. Each member of the band is incredibly accomplished and together they are an unstoppable powerhouse. Ghost Light is a band that actually lives up to any and all hype. If you have a chance this summer go see Ghost Light. They will be soon be landing on the top bill of your favorite festival.