Caramie Schnell

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October 29, 2013
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The Motet brings its annual Halloween dance party back to Beaver Creek

Get out, dress up, dance

That’s the requirement for Wednesday night’s Motet show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. The show has become a Halloween tradition the past few years at venues in Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins. Last Halloween, the Vilar Center brought the band to town for an all Parliament Funkadelic show. This year, the band presents MIXTAPE: 1980, which is to say the show will only include cover songs from 1980. More on that later.

“The show is a tradition on the Front Range, and we are working with the band to see if we can make it part of a tradition in our community as well,” said Kris Sabel, the executive director of the Vilar Center. “People seem to be up for a good time on Halloween.

“The Vilar Center has a bit of a reputation for having ‘quieter’ shows, like our classical and dance performances, but we also love to open up the dance pit and make it a party,” Sabel said.

Last year, nearly every person who attended the show dressed up, Sabel said.

“I won’t say that it’s a requirement, but I will say that it’s a lot more fun to wear one than not,” Sabel continued. “It made for a really fun and unique atmosphere last year, and we were impressed by the creativity.”

This year, keep your eyes peeled for Shannon Kennedy, who will be dressed as a “SnoBot.” Kennedy submitted a photo of herself in the costume and won the costume contest the Vilar Center held for the show, snagging two tickets to the concert and some face time with the band before they take the stage.

‘Nice and fresh’

Tonight’s show is the first of the Halloween run of shows for The Motet, said Dave Watts, the band’s founder and drummer.

“The energy of the shows during Halloween is always great, and of course playing to an audience dressed in costume makes for a pretty hilarious dance party,” Watts said about why the band has made a run of local Halloween shows a tradition.

After Beaver Creek (“The room is gorgeous and the staff treats us great,” Watts said about our local venue), the group heads to the Boulder Theater on Thursday night, The Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins on Friday night and the Ogden Theatre in Denver on Saturday night.

“It’s going to be the first show of the run so we will be nice and fresh for you,” Watts said.

So why 1980 and not 1983 or 1987?

“It was a great year in music in that there were still a lot of bands steeped in that ’70s dirty funk sound and at the same time other groups anticipating the ’80s electro vibe,” Watts said. “It was a very eclectic year in music.”

And indeed it was. A look at Billboard’s year end top 10 hits from 1980, with everything from “Call Me” by Blondie (No. 1) and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen (No. 6) to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” (No. 2) and “Funkytown” by Lipps (No. 8), makes that much exceedingly clear. Much to our mother’s disappointment, we kind of doubt Bette Midler’s “The Rose” (No. 10) is going to make tonight’s cut, but you never know.

And Watts isn’t letting anything slip.

“Nope,” he said succinctly when asked for a few hints as to the set list.

One thing is for sure, though, you’ll likely work up a sweat. With roots in jazz, Afrobeat, funk, salsa and samba, The Motet keeps audiences in a dancing frenzy by layering house and techno rhythms. Watts describes the band’s eclectic sound as such: “Well, if George Clinton and Fela Kuti and David Byrne all got married and had a baby, that baby would love The Motet!”

For tonight’s show, expect a dozen musicians ready to get you moving.

“We will have a three-piece horn section, three vocalists, an additional guitarist and percussion,” Watts said. “So, we will be showing up with a 12-piece band as well as bringing in some extra lights to beef up the vibe in the room.”

All the better to see what the band members are dressed up as, which of course, Watts isn’t giving any hints out for either.

“You will have to come to the show to find out,” he said.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at and 970-748-2984.

“The Vilar Center has a bit of a reputation for having ‘quieter’ shows, like our classical and dance performances, but we also love to open up the dance pit and make it a party,” Sabel said.

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The VailDaily Updated Oct 29, 2013 06:42PM Published Oct 31, 2013 02:51PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.