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Special guests rule the night at Karl Denson’s post-Outside Lands superjam

Karl Denson's Tiny UniverseBy Steve Carlson //

Outside Lands night show: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe superjam with special guests //
The Independent – San Francisco
August 9th, 2015 //

Karl Denson brought his jazz/funk band Tiny Universe and a variety of special guests to The Independent to close out Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival 2015 with one last late-night jam, and a capacity crowd was on hand to party along with him into the night.

The show was scheduled to start around 10 p.m., just after Elton John officially closed the festival at Golden Gate Park, but to the frustration of more than a few, including some fans who had traveled from as far away as Monterey, Calif., the show didn’t kick off until nearly 11:30 p.m. Once Denson took the stage and launched into “New Ammo” though, all was quickly forgiven.

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe

Over the course of the next two hours, Denson brought out guest after guest to help keep the party going, whether it was his old friends in Slightly Stoopid, Ian Neville of Dumpstaphunk, Alex Bleeker of Real Estate (for a beautiful rendition of The Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie”) or perhaps the biggest surprise of the whole evening, Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones, who had ditched his trademark suit for a T-shirt and baseball cap and proceeded to improvise a passionate cover of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” for the rapturous audience.

The show also leaned heavily on hometown talent with local favorite Nicki Bluhm taking the stage for a few songs, including a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Tumblin’ Dice”, while the always-magnetic Ziek McCarter of Con Brio made an unannounced appearance after his Outside Lands “Sexual Chocolate” set with Denson earlier in the day. It was nice to see Denson give both Bluhm and McCarter generous stage time, reminding everybody in the house how lucky we are to have such incredible talent right here in SF.

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