Friday night with Sultan + Shepard at the Bluebird Theater was one of those nights trance and progressive addicts crave. Hailing from Canada, the duo trekked down to Colorado for the first time since their appearance with Lane 8 at Red Rocks almost two years ago.
Longtime local and Denver Trance Family cornerstone Black Wands (real name Alex Maya), had the honor of warming up the decks for Sultan + Shepard. Maya was the sole opener before the duo graced us with an unforgettable extended set.
“This was my first time playing the Bluebird,” Maya said, “It meant a lot to me being that it’s one of the historic venues in town.”
“It was a really special night,” Maya went on. “Last Fall I got the chance to remix one of their tracks, ‘New Love’ with Le Youth, which got an official release on This Never Happened. So being able to share the stage with them on their Denver tour spot was really awesome. They even dropped my remix in their set Friday night!”
Maya spun a melodic house and techno set featuring some of his works. His single “Can’t Tell,” and his mashup of his track “Ride Home” and Flume’s “Rushing Back” got the crowd going for the showcase of the evening.
The rest of the night, Sultan + Shepherd cranked the uplifting up to 11. Playing a vastly original set with songs from their new album, Forever, Now, their journey was driven by euphoric chords with occasional progressive tracks from the likes of Tinlicker, Lane 8, and Maya himself. Nestled in the cozy classic theater that is the Bluebird, The Canadian trance pair had the venue packed to capacity with endless smiles. The energy they drew from the crowd was as rare as true caviar, the kind of energy that fills the soul.
With scarcely a dry eye in the house and faces strained from smiling so much, we can only hope Sultan + Shepard come back to uplift Denver again soon. In the meantime, you can catch Maya as Black Wands playing Club Vinyl on April 1st!!