Herbie Hancock makes magic at Denver Botanic Gardens

Herbie Hancock makes magic at Denver Botanic Gardens

August 21, 2017 Off By Denver Thread

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Photos by Michael McGrath, Story by Amy McGrath

It had already been one of the weirdest days of my life when I plopped down on my own little postage stamp of Denver Botanic Gardens territory to enjoy what I had hoped would be a funky and fun night of music with Herbie Hancock. And while the show was, at times, both funky and fun- what I got in the end was a complete “rearrangement” of both my ears and my brain.

After making their way to the DBG stage, Herbie and his band shushed the appreciative DBG crowd in a long moment of silence. There was no assignment, no ask of the crowd, other than to feel the power of quiet amongst thousands of DBG’s collection of music fans and white wine drinkers. For me, the silence begged consideration of the events that had transpired in the days before: hostile white torch-bearing men, bigotry and hatred rending our country apart at the seams.

Then, quietly, the magic of Herbie Hancock and his band of amazing musicians crept into the silence, in the form of the opening “Overture,” moving from the exquisite quiet to a fully psychedelic funk cacophony. Hancock wove a spell of sound over the audience that held throughout the 2-hour set.

His diverse and excellent musicians, grounded on the drums by the incomparable Vinnie Colaiuta (of Frank Zappa fame), buoyed the 77-year old master through a diverse set of music that included some of his most well-known material like “Canteloupe Island” and the encore “Chameleon” that had the DBG crowd off their blankets and shaking their booties.

Herbie Hancock’s Denver Botanic Garden’s show dramatically elevated my mood, blew the cobwebs out of my brain, and left me with a huge grin and the deep gratitude of witnessing a grand master share his powers.