Live Review: Fresh Espresso, Flavr Blue

may 9 • wild buffalo

I have narrowly missed seeing both Fresh Espresso and Flavr Blue in the past and have regretted it, so I made a point of putting this show on my calendar and showing up at the Wild Buffalo on time.
The Flavr Blue is a Seattle trio, all of whom contribute to the creative blends with vocals, synth work and other instruments. The group uses varying effects on the vocals and creates samples live, allowing bold command of the overall sound. Lighting augmented the stage array which was powerful and pleasing to the eye; the lines created by the instruments defined the performance area and allowed the musicians to be equally present while individually appreciated, everything lent itself to a nice flow showcasing the unique dynamic as the group moved to use different instruments and equipment.
Holly’s often ethereal vocals lead the listener  through the crescendos created as songs became more complex and intricate through layer development and cleanly placed sounds creating the audio experience. Flavr Blue ended with a whole new take on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”  Built on the classic guitar riff which Parker played on stage and looped, this rendition became more and more detailed, complex and developed without losing the original drive of the song. It was a great way to end the night.
I admit that all too often, an opening band catches my ear and my heart. Tonight Fresh Espresso did exactly that as they caressed the hip hop part of my soul. The set was admittedly not overly spectacular, or flashy; it was simply genuine, heartfelt and well done. P Smoov and Rik Rudes were strongly paired and in synch with the DJ, who all seemed to feed off each other on stage. They led the crowd through the set and P Smoov even conducted the audience; when prompted, the audience sang along and not only remembered the words, but sang in tune and with spirit.
Though this was my first time hearing Fresh Espresso, many audience members were clearly already familiar. Sometimes music allows us an opportunity for unity, a reason to come together, find common ground and feel joy in the existence of our fellow man, a time to congregate with others we do not know, based only on our shared interest and proximity.  Tonight was that kind of night, Fresh Espresso brought a balanced, entertaining and full performance and it seems everyone in attendance appreciated it. The guys were personable, engaged the audience and brought more than just songs.
Overall the evening was wonderful.  The entire staff was gracious and easily offered the crowd excellent beverages and customer service. The music was beyond satisfying and the mixed genres kept the interest diverse, and that is what keeps life and music interesting. One thing that did not happen but I would love to see is a collaboration by these groups; I have no idea what they might do, but I’m sure it would be a sight to behold. I highly recommend that if you have an opportunity to see Fresh Espresso, or The Flavr Blue, you should do it.
–Thea Hart