he Motet is a 7-piece band from Denver, Colorado that has been keeping the spirit of funk alive since 1998. The Motet separates itself from many musical groups today that try to incorporate a myriad of influences in their music by just sticking to their bread and butter, which is funk. Any listener can tell that The Motet prides themselves on channeling that funky James Brown energy and making sure people are getting down. From falsetto vocal solos to muted guitar strumming to synthesizers, The Motet has it all.
The Motet came to Chicago's Vic Theatre on their 2019 Speed of Light Tour and to give their Chicago fans a special treat, they decided to play two sets. The night began with an opening set from DJ Naysayers that got everyone in the mood for some funky jams. The venue was packed with fans, young and old, and they were all ready to dance. The Motet is composed of founder/drummer David Watts, vocalist Lyle Divinsky, guitarist Ryan Jalbert, bassist Garret Sayers, keyboardist Joey Porter, trumpeter Parris Fleming and saxophonist Drew Sayers. These seven funky dudes came out swinging in Chicago playing a track from their new album, 'Highly Compatible'. Straight away you could tell that these musicians were experienced as they created layered jams that got everyone moving.
Divinsky maintained a high energy throughout the show invoking audience participation and showing off his dance moves. Although Divinsky is the lead singer, he often slides to the side of the stage to let each band member take a solo. At a certain point Joey Porter went off on a keyboard solo that utilized a voice modulator bringing the jam to a intergalactic dimension. After their first set break David Watts was allowed a drum solo, which he totally nailed, and occupied the stage by himself for about 15 minutes before the rest of the band joined in.
In this modern age it is frightening to think that a genre as impactful as funk could be diminishing but this fear has no value with The Motet poking around. The Motet's Speed of Light Tour continues with dates in San Francisco, Seattle, and Colorado.