On Tuesday, October 10th, the autumn vibes of Morrison, Colorado provided the perfect setting for a weeknight concert. Thundercat arrived at Red Rocks on the In Yo Girl’s City Tour, supported by Zack Fox, The Linda Lindas, and Smino. Under a giant cat inflatable on stage, the eccentric lineup delivered an eclectic set of performances that spanned from rap to rock to jazz and more.
Zack Fox is a man of many talents. The comedian-artist-actor-Twitter icon jumpstarted his rap career when a freestyle of his went viral in 2019. Since then he has released an album, an EP, and a series of singles.
The show started with Fox’s animated performance. Playing a number of album cuts, singles, and unreleased songs, the rapper kept the audience entertained with his witty lyrics and comedic quips.
Next, Los Angeles-based teenage punk band The Linda Lindas took the stage and provided a drastic change of pace. The group consists of Bela Salazar, Eloise Wong, and sisters Lucia and Mila de la Garza.
Salazar introduced the band members and stated their ages, which range from thirteen to nineteen. “We were doing our homework out there in the stands earlier,” they proclaimed. Playing Red Rocks is an impressive feat for any artist, but playing on a school night as a teenager is really quite remarkable.
The Linda Lindas set was fast paced and loud. Each of the members took turns on vocal duties while also playing their respective instruments. The group’s infectious energy had the whole crowd jumping and screaming along during their whole set.
Thirdly, Smino (real name Christopher Smith Jr.) followed with his soulful blend of R&B and rap. This was the St. Louis artist’s second show in Denver this year, following Feburary’s co-headlining tour with JID at Mission Ballroom. Tuesday marked his first performance at Red Rocks, however.
The temperature began to drop during this set, but that did not stop the crowd from dancing and grooving along to every song. Smino took us on a lively journey, including performances of “KLINK,” “Wild Irish Roses,” and other hits.
Stephen Lee Bruner (known professionally as Thundercat) is a world-renowned bass player, singer, songwriter and record producer. Bruner began his career as a member of the band Suicidal Tendencies. He then launched a solo career and has since collaborated with acts such as Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, and Gorillaz. The two-time GRAMMY Award winner is known for his unique fusion of jazz, funk and R&B.
As the lights dimmed, lasers projected the Thundercat logo on the rocks, and the inflatable cat’s eyes glowed red, Bruner finally appeared on the stage. Accompanying the bass virtuoso on stage was his drummer and keyboard player.
The setlist primarily included songs from his most recent projects It Is What It Is and Drunk. Some renditions stayed true to their album versions. Others morphed into funky, technically impressive jam sessions that showed off the band members’ talents.
Things finally came full circle during the encore. Bruner called out all of the supporting artists to the stage and then performed the Tame Impala collaboration “No More Lies.” A wholesome energy was felt as The Linda Lindas, Zack Fox, and Smino all danced along on stage. Smino even hopped on the drum set and performed a solo at one point!
In Yo Girl’s City
Despite the chilly fall weather, the Red Rocks stop of the In Yo Girl’s City Tour was a blast! Fans were treated to a fun assortment of musical performances. Not a single dull moment was had thanks to Zack Fox, The Linda Lindas, Smino and — of course — Thundercat.
Photos by Noah Weiss