Live at TRU! series part 2: Servantes

Servantes brought sounds of flamenco, Latin and jazz, as well as guitar paired with modern looping technologies, to the Clock Tower Theatre on Thursday Oct. 15, for part two of the Live at TRU! concert series.

Servantes took center stage and displayed his innovative skill set which fuses traditional and modern guitar styles.

Without a word to the audience, Servantes sat in the only chair in the middle of the stage and began drumming on the body of his acoustic-electric guitar. He used his ring to create a sharper sound than what his bare knuckles made. Using unconventional methods, he looped the beat and used that as his rhythm section.

Servantes on stage on Oct. 14. (Kim Anderson/The Omega)

Servantes on stage on Oct. 14. (Kim Anderson/The Omega)

“He was building his own rhythms, he built his own bass. It was a superb and pleasant surprise,” said returning Live at TRU! concertgoer Frith Powell. He and his wife attend the concert series whenever they get a chance to. They believe the artists are “excellent and varied.”

Servantes walked the audience through a beautiful musical journey using improvisational rhythms and mind-altering riffs.

A focused and solemn performer, Servantes rarely took his eyes off his instrument and electronic looping control panel. When he did lift his head, it was to belt out smooth and passionate Spanish lyrics.

He hooked the crowd after the very first song, and a few people let out enthusiastic yelps of approval.

The rapidity of his guitar playing was breathtaking. His blending and use of a loop pedal could fool a listener into thinking they are listening to at least a duo.

For the last two songs, Servantes surprised everyone when his two friends bolted down the stairs, unannounced, and joined him on stage. Both with enormous grins, one with a saxophone in-hand and the other with a wooden drum instrument, the two musicians complimented Servantes’ superb guitar playing.

After his last song, the audience showed their approval with generous, raucous applause.

The worn paint below the strings on Servantes’ red guitar tells a tale of many shows played and points to his incomprehensible dedication and skill.