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Friday, December 9,2011

REVIEW: Eliot Lipp at the Fox Theatre, Dec. 7

By P.J. Nutting

For those who didn’t sweat the end of another semester, last night’s Fox show was a really good local showcase of mid-tempo get-low beats helmed by respected downtempo maestro Eliot Lipp. Though the ebb and flow of a half-packed venue was clearly visible, equally obvious was the strong loyalty followed each (or many) of the acts, bringing together a tight-knit energy that fortunately left ample room for getting down on the dance floor.

Opener SunSquabi came out with a surprisingly well-attended 8:45 set and led the show with the only guitars of the night (heavy bass with slide guitar is really untapped territory).

Kill Smith followed with more traditional mel(bro)dy and knob twisting, an example of yet another Boulder producer who is really grasping the glitch concept.

Local producer duo Slim Thugz definitely stole the show with Frequent C (Cody Yazipovic) rocked the only live keyboard of the night. Aside from reinforcing the Colorado electronic sound of ornate melody combined with 808 sensibility, it went to an entirely another level with guest saxophonist Clark Smith shredding over what was previously the sole territory of Big Gigantic

Eliot Lipp appeared in his trademark understated presence and plaid shirt, never the type to blast onstage with dual fist pumps. At first it seemed like another case of the headliner succeeding by showing more restraint and control than the opener, but even Lipp’s highbrow grooves (awesome as they were) didn’t overtake the residual Slim Thugz energy.

That’s what you get when you play a mostly downtempo set without your usual drummer on a Wednesday night during Finals Week, especially when you deviate with deeper cuts and left-field sampling.

Then again, the latter is exactly why he still deserves the reputation that preceded him, a musical whiz with a sophisticated sense of partying hard and the subtlety to make it all happen. Just watch out the next time you ask Slim Thugz to open for you!

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