Boulder Theater - April 14, 2017
article by Jessica LeBlanc
Manic Focus brought the crowd alive at his Mind Rising Tour stop at the Boulder Theater this past weekend. With opening acts Blunt Force, Chris Karns, and Bass Physics, the bar was set high to steal the show. John McCarten, aka JmaC’s electronic project ‘Manic Focus’ comes to life with Jacob Barinholtz on the drums to stay. Sometimes the project includes various other artists as well, such as Big Gigantic, GRiZ, and The Floozies, but for the Boulder show it was just this duo who brought the electro-soul to the packed theater. Being based out of a city like Chicago and apart of All Good Records, Manic Focus has a multifaceted sound. The blending of funk, blues, soothing soul, and heavy bass creates the perfect mixture for all those who listen. With JmaC starting to play music at the age of 6, it makes sense with how talented Manic Focus is.
Mind Rising is the name of Manic Focus’ new album and it is being debuted throughout their current tour. The album was just released this April so the lucky go-ers of Boulder Theater were some of the first to hear them throw-down their new songs. “Stronger” featuring Late Night Radio and others was my personal favorite of the night off the new album. Manic also played their famous classic remix of “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman that really got the crowd moving and “Latch” by Disclosure. Along with some of the more popular songs off his Cerebral Eclipse Album (2014), like Bumpin’ In The Voodoo Ft. Dom Lalli. The peak of the night was when “Just a Friend” by Biz Marke was played. With this song being a typical chant throughout the festival scene, specifically when walking around the festie-grounds, the audience became hyped up and began to sing along. Nearly all festival-goers know the lyrics to this song, and the fact that Manic Focus managed to fit it into their set really hit the hearts of the crowd. After the show, people talked about how impressive the performance was.
The future funk and electro-soul fans were pleased with the combination of new songs, lasers, and the all-in-all high vibe of the night. The Chicago based project came and showed Colorado lots of love by doing a meet-and-greet along with a listening party at the Grassroots California store in Denver before coming to Boulder for their big event.