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3OH!3, The Chain Gang of 1974, Sleeper Horse – Saturday, July 28 – Fox Theatre – Boulder


For months now I’ve been trying to make it to a 3OH3! show. Not because of anything anyone said about their shows, but purely from the instant high I couldn’t resist after taking in just two of their tracks “Chokechain” and “Holler ‘Till You Pass Out.” Their style of hip-hop twisted with dirty beats and rhymes brings out the animal instincts, but in a make-love-not-war kinda way. I’ve missed them at shows in Denver and in Boulder and even on the day of Warped Tour. I almost missed last Saturday’s sold out show at the Fox as well. But I didn’t. And I can tell you, if you haven’t seen their show yet, be prepared to ride the tidal wave. It’s fiercer than the big slide at Waterworld, so you better hold onto your top because you may just emerge at the end with less clothing than you had going in.

Things took off with Sleeper Horse, which contributed the driving rock portion of the night. With no need to warm up, the crowd immediately took to this foursome, which includes Mike Herrerra (Blackout Pact), Josh Friedman, Matt Clark and Ryan Kelly. Talking to one of the members later he let me know that they are currently working on an E.P., and after that night, he got even more incentive to get it done sooner than later.

Then Kamtin Mohager aka The Chain Gang of 1974 took the stage with his laptop and guitar, pulling out tracks from his new E.P., which has a number of electro heavy, booty shakin’ bangers that the kids ate up with arms stretched wide. The bodies were bouncing and the energy rose even more as the people prepared for what was to come when 3OH3! took over.

And take over they did with a little help from their friends, inciting a mock Lord of the Rings fight with members of Sleeper Horse, donned in Elizabethan regalia and swords. Sounds cliché to say the crowd went wild, but even that overused line doesn’t aptly describe the mayhem that continued to grow for the next 60+ minutes.

The shows put on by Matt Motte and Sean Foreman have become legendary, where the kids in the audience play as big a part in their show as the two performers themselves. I can’t say that I’ve seen such an emphatic fan base for a local band in quite some time, if ever, as the screaming, dancing, jumping and 3OH3! hand signs went on non-friggin’-stop until the lights came up.

But it never could have gotten to this level if it weren’t for the writing style of the Motte and Foreman team, which hits the nervous system hard with an overload of streetwise hip-hop and old school funk, colored brightly with modern tweaks and neurotransmitters, releasing a watershed of dopamine for everyone present.

Their connection to those people jumping up and down, combined with their abilities to throw down moves with choreographed inhibition makes for one of the most solid live acts I’ve seen for sometime, either in a local or national sense. In a nutshell: I was truly blown away.

Next week Cali gets a dose themselves as 3OH3! heads west to play the Knitting Factory, The Ventura Theater with Bone Thugs N Harmony, Beauty Bar with Ima Robot, and over to Vegas’ House of Blues with SUM 41, before heading back home to open for Snoop Dog at the Fillmore.

I know I’m not the first to say this and won’t be the last. But I have a real strong feeling that these two are going to be on the road even more in the near future, and many more folks outside of Denver will feel the power of our 3OH3!

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