If you haven’t seen the 3oh!3 yet, then you haven’t seen the most captivating and raucous act in town.
Testament to the fact that the 3oh!3 may be the next big thing to blow-up is the fact that the duo has only been playing out since February of this year and already they are packing every venue imaginable.
Heavy on the entertainment value, this hard-edged hip hop act will spin you feverishly through a gamut of aggressive, but redemptive, emotions. From their playful cover of “I Love Rock n’ Roll” to their monstrous “Chokechain” and near-anthem of, “Holler ‘Till You Pass Out”, the 3oh!3 is big and bad – and their presence is not to be denied. Primarily a two-man act the 3oh!3's Matt Motte and Sean Foreman are a refreshingly powerful array of showmanship and wit, all reverberating in an apparently endless chasm of energy.
Truly, their shows are some of the wildest and most raucous I’ve seen in a long while. With their wily limbs waving up and over the audiences outstretched hands and their constant frenetic pacing; with the not laying any of the stage to waste mentality. In all, Motte and Foreman are colossal under the flashing lights and standing in front of all those speakers, they appear akin to those heroes of our silver screens – much larger on stage than they are in person. With their bodies writhing and popping in unison to the dense, dark beats, it’s as if they are performing that grand rite of exorcism for all those waning in the black of life. At points, a 3oh!3 show can hearken back to the punk rock days of old when only the vigor inside was needed to shake the entire room from its footings.
…And then they flash the 3oh!3 sign. As if it were a call and answer hot trigger – the whole sea of bodies on the dance floor reciprocates, then hollers back. Bouncing, bobbing, moving, screaming… The audience always anticipating Motte and Foreman’s every move – usually taking only two beats or one-half of a sample before the audience reacts in familiarity and begins pumping their fists.
However there is another side to all the jumping and hollering, that bares mention. The 3oh!3's choreographed dance moves in conjunction with their strange thrift-store garb (in particular, the band’s interest in wearing wolf shirts) may lead some to believe that their whole act is irreverent, and possibly even poking fun at the oftentimes serious ideology embedded in hip hop. But no, both Motte and Foreman are dead intent on using their talents positively, and in the end they only wish to promote a genre of music that has been such a prominent influence on them, their musical selections, and their daily lives.
This diligence can best be seen in their careful lyrical construction, as well as their melodic and textural compositions. Here it’s obvious that both Motte and Foreman are serious. Their work is clever, funny, powerful and most of all, incredibly artfully conceived and implemented.
The 3oh!3 is not a passive aggression. No, these guys don’t make any qualms about the fact that they are in it to infect others, and to include others. Their ambition and diligence to their mission is evident. For while their stage shows are Motte and Foreman’s reward, the mountains of work that go into the group’s performance is endless. Both spend a variety of serious time together creating beats and samples and lyrics, looping and trimming the fat off everything until they have something that is authentic and theirs.
And they have succeeded. Motte and Foreman have managed to create a sound and a presence that is simply, brilliant. Their taste for wit and substance over gimmicks and apathy are applauded. Their aptitude in making their music accessible and all-inclusive is unparalleled here in Denver, or Boulder. Testament to this is the fact that they play to every age in town, often emptying a venue after they’ve played – trouble for club owners, if the 3oh!3 isn’t headlining.
In the end the 3oh!3 has set on exhibition a brilliance that should be admired and revered, but also enjoyed. And while the act will be taking a short break from their performances, be assured that both Motte (who is currently overseas) and Foreman will continue their musical work – in the end bringing some new, and heavily anticipated work to the stage upon their return this winter.