Lettuce Goes All Out with the Colorado Orchestra

By Conrad Sperosen

On Nov. 10, at the Boettcher Concert Hall, the jam-band Lettuce took their amazing funk sound and stepped it up by playing with a full symphony orchestra. On Saturday evening, they played a two set concert with a full string, brass, percussion, and woodwind sections. This concert was funk-a-delic with some amazingly well done covers including Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.”

A staple of any Lettuce concert is soaring and extended solos and improvisation. Even with more than 30 musicians on stage, including a conductor, there was no shortage of the free-flowing jam sessions. Unlike previous Lettuce concerts I have been to, the pace of this show was progressive and a little faster.

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Lettuce playing with the Colorado Orchestra at the Boettcher Music Hall in Denver, Co., Nov. 10. Photos by Conrad Sperosen 

The first set played lasted about 50 minutes, it’s tempo overall was faster and more upbeat, bringing a handful of audience members out of their seats. People were getting down in the aisles and throughout the hall. The first set held heavy bebop jazz and soul influences, and fast and ever changing chords dominated the vibe.

The second set slowed down for a more funky signature Lettuce style. Some slower jams coupled with epic songs like “The Force” and “Phyllis” really brought a more groovy downtempo sound that incorporated the hip hop inspired urgency and jam band sound aesthetic of their albums, Crush and Mt. Crushmore.

Overall, the show was excellent. Die-hard Lettuce fans peppered the auditorium side by side with suit and tie wearing symphony enthusiasts. The crowd, itself, was one of the most diverse I have seen in Colorado.


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