U.K. musician Bonobo made his first foray to Red Rocks a memorable one. Playing a duel headlining show with Nick Murphy (Chet Faker), the multi-faceted performer brought a six-man band along for the ride and incorporated the strings section of the Denver Symphony Orchestra.
Bonobo, otherwise known as Simon Green, has always been responsible for most of the songwriting and instrumentalism on his albums, but that fact can get lost when the “DJ” label is often affixed to your name.
Performing before a full house, Green conducted the show from a small riser in the middle of the stage. The Orchestra strings, full band and a few collaborative, heartfelt songs with Murphy kept the sold-out audience rapt throughout the entirety of the show.
Green was touring in support of his sixth album, Migration, released at the beginning of the year. The album included a collaboration with Murphy on the spacey, analog-leaning track “No Reason.”
Though Bonobo’s music has always been balanced, in a live setting the bass is kicked up a notch and the slightly atmospheric sounds of the album transition to tightly packaged dance-friendly beats.
Bonobo has established himself as a Denver favorite having played at various sized venues around the city on previous tours. But, the significance of his inaugural Red Rocks show was not lost on Green who often paused to appreciate the crowd and the setting.