Arriving early at the Scarlet & Grey Café on that Monday night, found you facing a dimly lit stage set with blue lights shining perfectly on a drum set, saxophone, a few boards including a Roland Juno-60 and a Mac laptop. This small venue located on The Ohio State University campus at the corner of N. High St. and Norwich, started to fill in slowly to see the Grammy nominated producer Nicolay with The Hot at Nights. The folks slipping in seemed to be mainly comprised of music aficionados that really follow these artists, anxious to experience an intimate groove on this brisk January night.
The three members of The Hot at Nights came out on stage first, fronted by Chris Boerner of the Foreign Exchange on the 8-string guitar, Matt Douglas on sax, and Nick Baglio on drums. The set started off with an up-tempo number that segued into a jazzy rendition of “Roxanne” originally recorded by The Police. The group didn’t have on shiny suits, or matching shirts, but the melodies and sounds from their instruments definitely blended in uniform. After jamming to a song called “AC Slater”, Chris shared a funny story about how the song was inspired by a happenstance with drummer Nick and Mario Lopez of Saved by the Bell fame at the mall.The trio played a few more selections that included “Liquid White Chocolate” a nice smooth track from their album Nice Talk and “Roxette vs. Roxanne” from Reel Talk a 4-track tape recording created in Chris Boerner’s basement, also known as the Burlap Palace. After a brief intermission, Nicolay came out on stage, he’s a tall slender cat, wearing a black ‘New Tigallo, New Tigallo, New Tigallo’ t-shirt. He sat down at the boards and immediately went to work, blessing the crowd with songs from Connected, Foreign Exchange’s first album and the Shibuya Session EP, a collaboration between Nicolay and The Hot at Nights. Every head in the joint was nodding, the groove was palpable and infecting.After closing with "The Answer" and “Bullet Train”, you could feel the house yearning for more. The chants for an encore were not met but the group including Nicolay did come out and mingle with crowd, chatting with familiar faces and signing autographs and taking photographs with others.These brothers obviously love what they do. They are masters of their craft and partaking in this gift is something that everyone should enjoy. Good people and great music. Awesome night.Definitely check them out!
Written by T.Cross
Edited by Kimmy Yo