Who: Beats Antique with The Tailor and Inspired Flight
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St.
The summer festival season is shaping up and one of the hottest bands on the circuit is Beats Antique.
Beats Antique's "livetronica" fusion of electronic and world music fascinates fans, and its performance art shows pack out venues. That's why the group's booked to play summer festivals that range from Bonnaroo to Electric Forest. Plus, the electro act's opening Bassnectar's June 18 show at Red Rocks.
Tonight, Beats Antique headlines the Boulder Theater and locals get a sneak-peak of the summer action.
"Beats Antique got started because I was in a dance company," band ringleader/dancer/producer Zoe Jakes said. "The company was managed by Miles Copeland -- he had managed the Police and operated IRS Records.
"One night I was hanging out with Miles, and he said he was looking for a young band that was doing more fusion and electronic music. I said, "I know people and we could put this together."
Jakes pulled in experimental music pro David Satori and percussive music ace Tommy Cappel to form the project.
"Tommy and I had already toured together in Yard Dogs Road Show," Jakes said. "David is my romantic other and he's made tons of electronic music. This is a really collaborative mix."
Beats Antique was originally slated to be a studio-only act, but fans started asking the band to play out.
The group's genre-bending blend of electronic, world music and belly dance sounds generated a buzz on the West Coast. Plus, Jakes' dance factor easily separated Beats Antique from other electro outfits.
"'Beats' in our name celebrates the beats in electronic music. The 'Antique' lets us reach back to old stuff that makes us feel good," Jakes said. "That gives us an amazing amount of creative freedom.
"Beats Antique is a unique fusion. Tommy's played a lot of Balkan and Eastern European music, David's played all kinds of African and Nigerian Afro-beat music -- and I've studied Indian dance."
To add to the world mix and dance aspects of the group, the band adds an innovative electronic element. Plus, down tempo, hip-hop and jazz are also fair game for this act.
However, Beats Antique really ups the ante with its dynamic live shows. The act plays live instruments, but mixes the electro beats live on stage.
"We're different and we fall under the umbrella of livetronica," Jakes explained. "That's a mix of electronics with all live music. We have a lot of drumming, guest singers and so many layers are built upon layers.
"The dancing adds space to the music and a tranceyness to the show. It lets us phrase the music differently. It's like having a different tool."
Beats Antique adds to the intrigue by providing a musical sideshow of guests.
The group travels with a musical crew that grows or shrinks depending on the act's whims. Chalk it up to the carnival vibe generated by Beats Antique.
To keep things exciting, Beats Antique always creates new music to accompany the experience.
The group's touring behind its 2010 release, Blind Threshold, but Beats Antique has been adding some new grooves to the mix. The outfit's also working on the new Contraption Vol. 2 album.
"Tommy's been getting into playing organ, we've been studying new instruments, and I'm using more dance forms and doing more DJing," Jakes said. "The beauty about this group is -- we can do whatever we darn feel like."
Beats Antiques is an experience for the ear and the eye.
"Everyone comes away with their own experience from our music. It's not just party music," Jakes said. "This is a cool thing and it's open-ended.
"People like the music live, but fans tell us they listen to it for everyday stuff. People tell us they love to cook, clean -- and even do their laundry to it!"
But the Boulder Theater show will be more exciting than laundry day.
"We're bringing the full road show with us to Boulder," Jakes said. "We've got two guests dancers, guest musicians and lots of other stuff. You'll get to experience lots of visuals, dance performance and lots of live elements.
"It's a really crazy show and we throw everything in. You've never seen anything like it -- this is more than a show. It's an experience and your mind will be blown!"