Wednesday, July 11, 8 p.m.
Rozz-Tox, 2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island IL
With their debut album Democracy Manifest described by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as “a fusion of jazz with rock, funk, soul, and R&B” that “grows more rewarding the deeper you dig,” the Vegas-based musicians of The Lique bring their stylish sound to Rock Island's Rozz-Toxx on July 11, demonstrating why, after a recent concert, Las Vegas Weekly stated that “what The Lique did best was blend rhymes with grooves so funky and smooth it would have been impossible not to have a good time.”
Released in 2016, Democracy Manifest stood as the culmination of an 18-month journey for The Lique's five members: frontman Rasar Amani, guitarist Sean Carbone, bassist Nick Schmitt, keyboardist Jason Corpuz, and drummer Jeremy Klewicki. Originally a Sacramento-based rapper, Amani had achieved musical success in the Northern California scene, and released nine solo albums before moving to Las Vegas. But in early 2015, right when Amani was contemplating a relocation to the East Coast, he made the acquaintance of Carbone, who introduced the storyteller/musician to Schmitt, Corpuz, and Klewicki – all of them former students who met while attending the University of Navada-Las Vegas. The musicians had an impromptu jam session in which everything clicked (Amani told The Trusted Ear that it was “like we had been playing together for years”), and the newly formed The Lique began treating Vegas crowds to what would prove a signature style complete with a four-piece band, spoken-word artist, and choreography – all performed in suits and ties.
By the end of the musicians' first year together, The Lique had been prominently featured in Afropunk magazine, earned recognition by Las Vegas Weekly as one of the “10 Acts to Watch in 2016,” and was named “Best Band” by Vegas Seven magazine. The group's escalating fame then led them to headlining concerts at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York and a mainstage performance at the Life Is Beautiful Music Festival, and with the release of Democracy Manifest, The Lique began to receive critical enthusiasm equal to the excitement of its sold-out club fans on the Las Vegas strip. The Sacramento Bee called the ensemble “a genre-spanning, boundary-testing onslaught of soul,” while Tahoe Weekly wrote, “Their performances are alive, upbeat, and thought-provoking” and “the band is having the time of its life.”
The Lique's 8 p.m. concert opens with a set by the Quad Cities' spoken-word and jazz-fusion duo Aubs. & Grandiose, donations to the July 11 event are encouraged, and more information is available by calling (309)200-0978 or visiting RozzTox.com.