The Denver, Colorado air was crisp and cold the line was long and filled with kids half my age. Walking into a crowded venue in 2022 was a bit overwhelming but once I was inside I felt right at home. I walked in right before the opening act went on so I hit the merch booth. This was my first introduction to Hot Flash Heatwave and the youths of the crowd seemed to know all their hits. They were a great opener to Marc E Bassy as they had a similar vocal vibe mixed with an almost surfer rock-type sound. This makes sense since they are also California-based. After taking a listen to some of their songs again this morning I will have to say I prefer them Live. Beautiful vocals were overshadowed by the production in the recordings. Their performance was a vibe of its own and I would see them again.
As a former concert industry person, I can’t help but watch the way a venue or tour support handles set changes, lighting, and sound. It will never not make me laugh when someone from the audience screams for the tech who walks on stage to adjust a mic stand or lighting.
I will never forget the day I heard Marc E Bassy’s vocals for the first time in what now feels likes lifetimes ago. A person from my past told me “I have a song to show you I think you will love it”. Of course, I, a bit of music snob, questioned what or who they would recommend. They turned on Comcast music videos (lol remember those?) to a band called 2am Club. From that very first line “For long as I can remember it’s been December” sung by Marc E Bassy I was hooked. His vocals just spoke to every piece of me they had that perfect amount of grit and smoothness that I am a sucker for. Their debut album “What Did You Think Was Going to Happen?” has been on repeat ever since. Not to mention that their cover of “If It Isn’t Love” by New Edition is one of my favorite cover songs ever. Obviously, I was devastated when they broke up after they released the Moon Tower mixtape.
I began to follow Marc E Bassy solo adventure shortly after via Soundcloud. His early stuff was still a very similar vibe to 2am Club but track after track he started growing into his own sound with his beautiful vocals front and center. His songwriting has always been ear-catching in a very unique way to me. His mesh of hip hop, r&b, & soul music has always been underrated in my opinion. And, the fact that he is still playing small intimate venues like Cervantes blows my mind.
I hung out stage right waiting for the bay area boy with the creamy vocals to enter the stage. He jumped out on stage and got the crowd hype instantaneously. Right off the bat, I was so mad that the sound quality was so bad. His vocals were overpowered by the guitar and backing track. The bass just made everything sound distorted where it made it hard for me to enjoy the first few songs. This is no reflection of Marc E Bassy or his performance just his sound guy. Thankfully they got the sound in order and as the show progressed his vocals were in perfect balance with the music. What impressed me most was that he used 3 different microphones. One had reverb attached to a drum machine so he was able to do some crazy effects with live samples. It was obvious how much he cared about the showmanship and even the quality of his vocals live. He removed his in-ears a few times to sing and let me tell you he can sing. I was under the assumption that he would have some sort of band support but it was just one guitarist and Marc E Bassy playing multiple instruments. This speaks volumes to his talent as a songwriter and performer. I was also pleasantly surprised that he performed a wide variety of songs, granted most were popular hits. Thankfully there were a few gems mixed in. I will be honest attending a concert during a pandemic had me questioning if I would be able to have a good time but Marc E Bassy put on a hell of a show and I will definitely catch him again on the next one.