Valentine’s Day was just over a week ago and while most folks were busy with a typical romantic night out, a small crowd of friends and lovers gathered at Sol Collective to catch an amazing concert and much better alternative Despite a chilly night, the heat was turned up by stellar performances that transported most of the crowd to paradise. While many couples on Valentine’s Day express their love through cheesy material goods, at Sol Collective, the love was distributed through slick funky jams, tropical riffs and some inspired dancing from the crowd all throughout the night. The small audience proved to be a bonus as it gave everyone more room to dance.
Sacramento locals The Tender Senders, opened up the night, Managing to trudge through some minor sound problems at the beginning, the band bounced back, locked into their grooves and made for one impressive set. Their sound closely resembled the works of contemporary funk artists like Dam-Funk and as well as legends like Zapp, but with their own tongue-in-cheek lyrics with topics ranging from dealing with baby mamas to riding an elevator in the mall. The Tender Senders meshed heavy synth, guitar and bass, with the support of amazing percussion players who utilized drum pads, bongos and wind chimes to craft their own unique sound.
After their set finished up, the night’s energy shifted into high gear when Quitapenas (Which translates to “Sorrow’s Remover”), a band hailing from the Inland Empire, hit the stage. Described as a group influenced by the California sun and Tropical/Afro-Latin sounds, Quitapenas played an extraordinary set. With more bongo drums, layered percussion, slithery bass lines and some virtuoso guitar playing, Quitapenas made some waves with their lush infused music. The grooves were infectious and dancing was the only cure. If people were not dancing, they were at least bopping their head and tapping their feet to the beat. Quitapenas managed to keep their entire set diverse with the array of instruments such as the mandolin and sax that they integrated into their songs. As the rhythm and sound of their songs transformed, so did the energy in the room. The audience, entranced by their entire set, cheered for an encore and the band mustered up some stamina to play one last track for the restless crowd.
The rest of the night’s activities winded down with a full 45’ vinyl DJ set courtesy of Montreal based artist, DJ Canule Tropical who spun together some vintage tropical records as some people left and while a few stayed until closing. The real gift at this Valentine’s Day show were the talents of each band, as they brought their own unique abilities to feel the love.
Words and Photos: Giovanni Martinez