I arrived at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip on Friday night for Moksha and the Greyboy Allstars directly from another, more formal event wearing a shirt and tie. Saying I looked out of place amid the sea of dreadlocks and organic hemp clothing would have been a gross understatement. In fact, I was waiting for the crowd to turn around and chant “Narc!” at me, but no one seemed to really care. There were much more interesting things happening on stage.
Friday night’s show was a tour-closing and homecoming performance for opener Moksha, which spent the last month on the road throughout the West coast including a stint at the Burning Man festival. Moksha commanded the crowd for an hour and 15 minute opening set that included fan favorites “(Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away” and “Blind to the Time,” a tight performance and a perfect fit to open for Greyboy Allstars. Moksha combines the free flowing jam sounds of guitarist Jeremy Parks with key-burning organist Brian Triola over driving bass and drums that you can easily dance along with or just chill out and enjoy.
At 10:45, Greyboy Allstars took the stage and the floor immediately filled up without even a nudge from the band to come closer. The Allstars, though sans DJ Greyboy for almost two decades now, cut their teeth in the mid-90s on the festival circuit touring continuously for years. I wondered how their sound would translate to the intimate setting of the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. Greyboy Allstars’ eclectic style has been called everything from soul to boogaloo and acid-jazz revival, but their live sound would be better described as “can’t help but dance” jams. They had no problem condensing their sound to fit their settings. About one in every five songs featured singing from saxophonist Karl Denson, making the show a mostly instrumental affair. But Greyboy’s set spanned every color of jam in their 2 hour plus performance that included back to back slamming instrumental interpretations of Michael Jackson's “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Rock With You,” bringing a show fit for the festival circuit to the Las Vegas Strip.