Band Moon Taxi plays beneath bright stage lights

After Moon Taxi rescheduled their Colorado show from December to March 9th, fans were ready for lift-off on Saturday night. Having endured the depths of winter, they were met with a summery atmosphere at Summit in Denver.

A swingin’ performance by Plain Faraday set fire to the hometown audience before the Nashville-based groove rockers played a hot set, including some unexpected treats! They unearthed gems from their eight-album library and leaned into their latest release, Set Yourself Free. There were also heartwarming crowd interactions, one of which originated from a technical necessity — and that unscripted moment also generated a surprise cover!

Blasting Off With a Sweet Setlist

From new to old, hits to surprises, Moon Taxi rocked a selection of songs that offered something for everyone. The aptly titled “Walk Out” was their anthem as they took the stage. After the smooth instrumental jam concluded, the band revisited their 2015 album Daybreaker. Positive vibes flowed courtesy of the upbeat “All Day All Night” as the band loosened up. Jumping right back into new material, they played the inspirational title track “Set Yourself Free” next. They followed with “Let The Record Play” an uber-catchy number that shares its name with their 2017 LP.

Guitarist playing onstage underneath green lights
A band playing onstage together

The band sprinkled in cheery selections from their new record like “Lay Low” and “Heart Of Gold,” along with the retro masterpiece titled “Classics.” The house was rocking as fans sang and danced along to other cherished favorites. Hits like “Lay Low,” “Two High,” “River Water,” “Hometown Heroes,” “Not Too Late,” and “Now’s The Time” paced the action. For the throwback 2014 hit “Morocco,” fans swayed in sync with the tempo. The song also featured a ripping guitar solo by singer and guitarist Trevor Terndrup.

Between tracks, band members had moments to shine individually. Tyler Ritter rocked a disco-fueled drum solo that got everyone moving. Keyboardist Wes Bailey blew collective minds with a flurry of finger movements. At times, his hands were a blur as he ignited the ivories. Lead guitarist Spencer Thomson evoked moonlit drives on the coast during an airy arrangement. He connected dreamy chords effortlessly during a harmonious juncture of sound.

A guitarist plays onstage beneath yellow lighting
A drummer playing on a full drum kit
Band Moon Taxi jams together onstage

A Smashing Set From Cover to Cover

Accentuating the Moon Taxi originals were rousing recreations of classic numbers. Halfway through the set, the band paid tribute to Tom Petty with a version of his hit “Runnin’ Down A Dream.”

Later, I saw what (almost) resembled a mosh pit up front when they tore through another vintage cover. I never would have predicted that I would hear Rage Against The Machine at this show! Moon Taxi brought the funk and a fiery disposition to their rendition of “Killing In The Name Of.” Bassist Tommy Putman got to flaunt his pipes and bass chops on that banger. He handled lead vocal duties, belting out the lyrics once sung by Zack de la Rocha. Along with another unplanned cover, those setlist gems sprinkled in perfectly.

Guitarists playing together onstage
View of a crowd from a balcony

Connecting With The Crowd

Catching your favorite artist in a smaller venue offers the potential for intimate experiences. Saturday’s Summit show certainly delivered several of those encounters! At one point between songs, Terndrup paused to sign a couple of photos for an enthusiastic front-row follower. Another lucky attendee went home with a souvenir they did not expect.

A band member onstage exchanges items with the audience

After one of Ritter’s drum heads needed a replacement, he tossed it Frisbee-style into the crowd. While that quick fix occurred onstage, the rest of the group gave the audience a treat. They played an impromptu, drumless version of “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes. Concertgoers bellowed the hey-yeah, yeah-yeah-yeahs with all of their might. After the show, the band members were kind enough to sign the super-sized memento and spent a few minutes interacting with adoring fans from the stage.

Band members onstage signing items for the audience
An audience member dances onstage next to the band

Another patron took audience participation a little too far. He invited himself onstage to dance and jump along to “Year Zero.” After his moment of lunacy, he was escorted offstage (and out of the building). Terndrup and crew kept playing through the distraction without missing a beat. Their chill demeanor, professionalism, and dedication to the fans were evident all evening.

Jazzing Things Up… With Overalls?!

Indie rockers Plain Faraday got Saturday night’s show rolling in style. The Denver-based outfit cranked out jazzy jams courtesy of horn players Matteo Bassani on trombone and Ian Thomas on trumpet.

Bassani’s overalls were a hot ticket with the crowd — who knew?! His joyful dancing and onstage antics provided lighthearted comic relief. During one ditty, guitarist and vocalist Caleb Sanders sang about a failed personal endeavor. The lyrics recount him asking for Phoebe Bridgers’s phone number at the Gothic and her amusing lack of a response onstage. The rhythm section of bassist Will Pavilonis and drummer Baz Gillen laid down beats for the groovy gig. From start to finish, it was a feel-good kind of night.

Trombone and trumpet players onstage
Trombone player onstage
Bass guitar player onstage
Acoustic guitar player onstage
Drummer playing at drum kit onstage

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