The Motet Delights Fans In Albany, NY
Colorado funk favorites, The Motet, brought their brand of high energy, jazzy jam fusion to Albany Thursday night, making their debut at the recently opened Skyloft, located upstairs in Crossgates Mall.
Opening the show with a groove and improv heavy set was Star Kitchen, the most recent side project from Marc Brownstein of the Disco Biscuits. The band also features Danny Mayer (Alan Evans Trio, Eric Krasno Band), Marlon Lewis (Lauryn Hill, John Legend), and Rob Marscher (Matisyahu, Addison Groove Project).
After a brief intermission in which attendees were reminded there is no smoking on mall property, The Motet took the stage, immediately launching into the massive funk jam Kneebone from the bands rhythm section before lead singer Lyle Divinsky emerged in full hype mode. After a little call and answer with the crowd, Damn! came next, followed the title track of the the bands recently released 2019 album Death of Devotion. The familiar Like We Own It and Cloak and Dagger came next, allowing the Motet horns, Drew Sayers (sax) and Parris Flemming (trumpet) to show off their chops a bit, before the band settled in on the song Danger.
Working the crowd into a frenzy, Divinsky would explain how this felt like a bit of a homecoming for him, as went to college not far from the venue. He also joked about the band going on a shopping spree earlier in the day, picking up some fresh new threads while there at the mall, proof “you really can have it all.”
Fool No More got the dance party restarted, once again allowing each member of the band to flex their musical muscle. Garret Sayers, calm and cool in the back, laying down a nasty bass solo, Ryan Jalbert’s patient guitar playing, all held together by Dave Watts on the drums. A string of songs off the new album came next; Speed of Light, Whacha Gonna Bring and Highly Compatible. One of the many highlights of the set was keyboard player Joey Porter’s monster funk fueled Talkbox solo, in which he sang and played through a hose in mouth.
The Motet staple Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed came next, Divinsky demanding audience participation, followed by a set closing version of Back It Up. After a very brief curtain call, the boys came back out for a one song encore, wrapping up the high energy show with Get It Right. Expressing sincere gratitude to all those who came out, Divinsky told the crowd he wanted to give each of them a big sweaty hug on the way out, and that’s exactly what he did.