June 28th – The Vogue Theater
IndyMojo Presents: Kaleidoscope Jukebox and BoomBox
If you missed this show, I both pity you and question your judgment. It has been so long since I’ve experienced something so downright bad-ass, mesmerizing, majestic and awe-inspiring as the show that went down last night at the Vogue…
Kaleidoscope Jukebox took the stage around 9:45. The first thing that impressed me was the fact that unlike a lot of shows where it takes people either a couple of drinks, or just a little time to get warmed up and actually start dancing, K.J. had an instant dance floor within 1 minute of the start of his set.
His music was admirably unique; very “trippy” and “worldly” sounding. I heard parts of reggae, trip hop, psychedelic grooviness and a tribal, almost spiritual sound; all beautifully blended and changed up at perfect times. At one point, I looked up and saw bubbles floating through the air, and when the colored lights would hit them, they illuminated multicolored and it was almost hypnotic. While I don’t like to compare musicians to other musicians, there were certain points I definitely felt a sort of Thievery Corporation and/or Massive Attack-ish vibe; and when I said that to someone, they informed me that Kaleidoscope Jukebox had actually won a Thievery Corporation remix contest. Fun fact!
His music was mellow and sort of enchanting. At one point I told the girl next to me, “I feel like I need to meditate now; maybe do some yoga.” I’m a sucker for a good sitar, and Kaleidoscope Jukebox did not disappoint. Near the end of his set, I was absolutely blown away by a track he did paying a sort of whimsical electronic tribute to the Beatles, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” titled, “While My Sitar Gently Weeps” and I was sold.
I feel like I wouldn’t be doing justice to say it was a great set; it was more of an experience, and although I hadn’t heard Kaleidoscope Jukebox before this show, I’m definitely a huge fan now. I encourage you to check out his music and go see his show if you get the chance.
At 11:00 BoomBox took the stage and for the next 2 hours I never stopped smiling once. In fact, my face actually hurts today as a result. There are not enough positive adjectives in the English language to adequately describe the Boombox set. I will sure as hell give it a shot, though.
To set the scene, the lighting was phenomenal. While it made it very difficult to take a good picture, it was so aesthetically pleasing with all of the changing colors and moving and flashing. The sound quality was stellar, the dance floor was packed. BoomBox is just straight jamming in their big hats and fluffy boas. Russ Randolph’s driving beats and bright, melodious keys were such a perfect compliment to Zion Godchaux’s guitar and vocals. They jam HARD and their buildups are nothing short of explosive. Their sound is such a perfectly blended combination of so many different styles and sounds that it is nothing short of dumbfounding. I have honestly never heard anything that sounds like these guys’ style. Taking sounds that are at times psychedelic, 70’s, Grateful Dead-esque guitar riffs, and electronic awesomeness and combining them sounds truly brilliant.
When I heard the first hint of a possibility that they were going into“Mr. Boogie Man” the excitement level of the whole place, which was already quite elevated, intensified to a whole new level. At that moment, it seemed as though the entire venue was dancing and having the absolute time of their lives. When the lights would randomly scan over the crowd and illuminate their faces, all sweaty from dancing, all I could see was a vast sea of enormous grins. Not long after that, I made my way down to the front of the stage and just danced until I was covered in sweat and my heart was content, amongst hundreds of random strangers who suddenly all felt like close friends who were all sharing in the same magical experience.
I would say that the highlight of the evening was when BoomBox played their version of “Shakedown Street.” The place went into a frenzy and if there was anyone not dancing prior to this point, that was no longer the case. Although there are people who are normally pacifistic and gentle people but would brutally stab me for saying this, I feel like after hearing BoomBox perform Shakedown Street, I don’t think I can really ever again be entertained by listening to the original Grateful Dead version. No disrespect to those guys, but this is just on another level and any other version just sounds boring now.
Bottom line is that these cats get DOWN. This was the best time I’ve had at a show in literally years. The energy level was high, the mood was perfect, everyone seemed to be having an absolute stellar time, and the music just couldn’t have been any better whatsoever. This was the first time I had seen BoomBox perform, but I certainly know it will not be the last. This is a group that I would probably spend my rent money to travel out of state to see if I got the chance. I mean without trying to sound like a complete gushing fool, it was damn near life-changing. Do yourself a huge favor and check them out on their website, Soundcloud and social media sites.