The Top 10 Things to Do at Your Final Warped Tour

By: Nathan Sheppard

In it's last year as a touring festival, there is much to do at your last Van's Warped Tour.

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10. Download the Official Warped Tour App

Having the official WT app will keep you up to date on any news or announcements before and at the festival. The app also answers some of the most common questions that people have, from what you can bring to where you can meet your favorite bands. And most importantly, it lets you know which artists are playing at your Warped Tour date. Download it ASAP, and get yourself a portable power pack while you’re at it! You don’t want a dead phone right before that selfie with Mayday Parade.

9. Be Prepared

Warped Tour happens during the hottest time of the summer, so it's important to take care of yourself. This means staying hydrated! There are water stations on the fest grounds, so all you need to bring is a clear empty water bottle and you're golden. Make sure to check the weather before you head out too so you can have the sunscreen on hand. A bro tank sunburn never did anybody no good.

8. Make Friends

Warped Tour is basically a giant party full of people that like the same kinds of music as you do. It’s a place where you are free to express yourself and go a little bit wild without the fear of being judged. So branch out of your comfort zone and talk to someone new while you’re enjoying the festival! Your phone will still be there when the conversation is over.

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7. Check Out the Non-Profits

There are a wide variety of nonprofits traveling with the tour who do amazing work for their communities. From The American Red Cross to To Write Love On Her Arms, there is sure to be a non-profit that interests you. And who knows! Maybe you’ll end up volunteering with them after your Warped experience. Bonus: If you bring either three canned goods, a used cell phone, or a $5 cash donation for Feed Our Children NOW, you can get express entry to the fest. Check out the full list of non-profits here.  

6. Take a TEI Class

The Entertainment Institute (TEI) provides 40-minute backstage workshops with your favorite Warped Tour artists. Workshops can range from drum lessons to insights about the music industry. It’s a great way to see a different side of your favorite musicians and ask them all those burning questions you’ve had. Class sizes are limited, so get a ticket early! You can see which workshops are available here.

5. Get One Piece of Memorabilia

This is the last year of Warped Tour as we know it, which means its your last chance to snag some Warped Tour memorabilia. The first opportunities to grab yours are with the 2018 compilation CD and the collectible 3D souvenir tickets; on the day of your fest there will also be one or two merch tents with official Warped merchandise to peruse. Different organizations and record companies will be giving away free items as well, so keep an eye out!

4. Meet & Greets

Who doesn’t love meet & greets?! Every band will have their own merch tents set up throughout the festival day with a scheduled stop by time. This is a great way to meet some of your favorite band members and get something autographed or grab an infamous selfie.

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3. Discover At Least One New Band

Warped Tour is known for having a number of big name bands, but they also support many lesser known bands as well. Some bills even include local acts playing just your city’s fest. So while your waiting for your favorites on the main stage, make sure to check out the smaller stages like owly.fm Stage and Full Sail Stage. You might just find your new favorite band!

2. See Every Single One of Your Favorites

The final year of Warped is full of some of alt rock’s favorite bands, from icons like electronic duo 3OH!3 to Motionless In White for the metalheads so try and see as many of your favorites as possible! After all- THIS. IS. IT. Make sure you get to the fest early to find out set times on the classic inflatable board or snag a $2 paper schedule.

1. Have A BLAST

This is the last time we’ll be able to experience Warped Tour as we’ve known it for the past 25 years. Whether it is revamped somehow or changed to something completely different is yet to be seen, so it’s time to enjoy what’s left while we have the chance. Take it all in and experience all that Warped has to offer you. And as always, practice safe moshing and crowd surfing and take care of one another. Though it’s the end of an era, it could be the start of your relationship with a new friend or a new favorite band. Here’s to you Warped Tour!

-Nathan

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.


The Ride Festival: Why This Year's Lineup and the Mountains of Telluride Are a Match Made in Heaven

By: Cy Fontenot

There are few things comparable to taking in the mountains of Telluride and experiencing the loving culture of this historic mountain town. Nestled in a breathtaking box canyon of the San Juan Mountains at 8750’ elevation, Telluride is home to some of the most magical musical occurrences Colorado has to offer.

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Highlighted among these is The Ride Festival. With two nights of String Cheese Incident at the top of the bill, Ride 2018 is bound to be a soul-warming experience. The vibe of this magical mountain town complimented by the sounds of SCI is sure to create a strong sense of euphoria amongst anyone is attendance. Also slotted on the lineup this year are Sheryl Crow, Grace Potter, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Big Something, Kitchen Dwellers, and more.

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Though Town Park camping for this year’s fest is already sold out, there are plenty of other camping and lodging options within walking distance of the fest, so you’ll never have to leave the party! Festival passes also include entry to most NightRide shows, and these unique sets are not to be missed. As the main stage empties out into the streets of Telluride, late night venues such as the Sheridan Opera House, Roma, Liberty, and the Moon at O’Bannon’s will fill up and overflow with sounds until early morning. Check out this year’s NightRide schedule to see you favorites. You can sleep when you’re dead!

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The Ride Festival this year will be a magical, wild ride between the daytime and late night performers, the beauty of those San Juans, and Telluride in full festival vibes.

Check out the full lineup here and get your tickets today at this link!

-Cy

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

2018 Belongs to JJUUJJUU

By: Brody Coronelli

A Q&A with frontman Phil Pirrone on the band’s debut album, their upcoming shows, and how it feels to be on the cusp of their big break.

 Phil Pirrone of JJUUJJUU.

Phil Pirrone of JJUUJJUU.

The Los Angeles psych-rock band JJUUJJUU has a sound that’s entirely their own. Harnessing the collision of psych and desert rock with the ambience of low-fi and a fiery undercurrent of metal that never overpowers the music, they’re one of rock’s most interesting and hard to pin down groups. They’re also on the cusp of a breakthrough.

The band- fronted by Phil Pirrone, the founder of the Desert Daze festival- released their debut album 'Zionic Mud.' The album is an atmospheric exploration of a number of different influences, each coming together to capture an atmospheric, psychedelic daze. A good deal of collaboration followed the release. The band released alternate versions of each single re-imagined by friends and supporters, which include Warpaint’s bassist Jennylee’s synth-driven and danceable take on the title track “Zionic Mud” and Liarsloud, scuzzed-out version of “Camo.” They also released a music video for their own version of “Camo” directed by Flaming Lips animator Michan Burzan.

This summer, the band is set to play a number of shows opening for the heavy metal band Mastadon and experimental rock band Primus; two hugely high profile acts with the potential to send JJUUJJUU into the stratosphere. In between those shows, the band is headlining Lost Lake in Denver on June 19th with support from DeCollage and King Eddie. I had the opportunity to chat with Pirrone recently about the band’s new album and their upcoming tour dates.

You guys just released your new album 'Zionic Mud' last month. How has the rolling out and reception of that record been, and in what ways is it different from your past material?

This record was five years in the making. So it's good to have it out. We had only released an EP before this, in 2013, so in a lot of ways, this is the beginning.

Your songs are definitely more blissed out and bright than your counterparts; they aren't always aggressive, and instead, favor some ambience. How do you go about creating this sound live and in the studio?

Not sure how we get there- I guess it's just our collective influences and experiences informing how we approach a song or jam or what have you. Short answer: happy accidents.

What sound were you trying to capture on 'Zionic Mud', and is it going to send the band in a new direction, or expand on a sound you've already established?

I just wanted it to sound like something I loved, no matter what that ended up being. I don't know what direction we're going in or what we've established. Just putting down what comes out and going from there.

What inspired you to have friends and collaborators release their own alternate takes of the singles? What do these new versions have to offer that the originals don't? The JENNYLEE version of "Zionic Mud" particularly stands out to me; it brings out a danceable element in the song's framework that I didn't catch in the album version.

It was my friend Jason's idea who works at the label. And a great idea at that. These versions are some weird form of collaboration between myself and the remixer, without being in the same room or even talking about it. So, it's very exciting to hear what each of them come back with. Jennylee went the extra mile and reimagined the track through her lens and it's lovely.

What made you choose METZ and Liars to rework the songs? Are there any other collaborations in the works?

Part of the aim of this experiment was to find very different filters to mix these songs through and see what we end[ed] up with. Both seemed like total long shots, but they both said yes (surprisingly). Very happy with how both came out.

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Your music strikes a really interesting balance between psychedelia, stoner-rock, desert-rock, and a cool, low-fi aesthetic. How did you come across this collection of sounds, and how do you go about synthesizing them into your live set?

We really don't talk or think about what we're going to do, we just go for it. Whether I'm on my own or with the group, we just jump into it and follow what comes out, or we don't if it's shit. Performing the songs live with a group is an evolution. It's difficult to replicate what happened on record because so much of it was improvised or literally a happy accident. So the live incarnation sort of evolves and the songs grow and change. I think that's totally a normal behavior for a group like JJUUJJUU.

How does it feel to be opening for Mastodon and Primus, two colossal names in the scene? How'd this opportunity come about, and do you have anything special planned for these shows?

Feel honored and excited and nervous, frankly. Touring with bands this good keeps us on our toes and forces us to bring our best. We've toured with Claypool Lennon Delirium before, so it's great to be invited back out. Les Claypool has some of the best fans in the world. They are there to enjoy loud music and have a good time. So, for that, among other things, we're very grateful. We're going to be playing nice and early, so we'll be having a BBQ nightly from stage. We might perform a few weddings (if needed). First 50,000 people in the gates get a free hot dog and t-shirt (if there's also a wedding).

What's next for the band after you guys finish your expansive touring schedule this year? Do you see the band continuing in the same sonic direction, or is there a new sound on the horizon?

We're playing Desert Daze in Southern California in October. We're working on LP2 right now (early stages). It's going to be different. But the same. But different.

-Brody

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

New Found Glory Proved Their Pop Punk Reign at Recent Denver Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

Pop punk legends New Found Glory rocked the Ogden Theater this past friday on their Sick Tour. The now 21-year-old band are right back at it again after recently going on a 20th anniversary tour. This time around, they brought William Ryan Key (former Yellowcard frontman), The Movielife, and fellow old-school punk band Bayside.

William Ryan Key kicked things off with an acoustic set of his newest solo project, a five-song EP Thirteen. It was very mellow compared to his Yellowcard days. The set did end with and acoustic “Ocean Avenue” sing-along which was very fun. The Movielife, who just reunited a few years ago and released their first record in 14 years this past fall, followed with an energetic performance.

New York punk rockers Bayside took things to the next level as they ripped through the first few songs of their set. The usual mosh pits started to form and truly made the Ogden’s 1600-person venue feel like a classic small venue punk show. Everyone sang along to classics like “Montauk” and Bayside finished their part of the show with everyone’s favorite “Devotion And Desire.”

New Found Glory, who are known in their genre for their excellent shows, proved they still reign as last week’s was no different. Kicking things off with arguably their biggest song (though they have many), the band played “All Downhill From Here” to start the night and the show got more insane from there. Aside from the electric energy they developed with the crowd, NFG are also a fan favorite due to their longer setlists, which often feature a lot of classic older tunes and deep cuts. Denver’s show was everything that we could ask for catalogue-wise, and also featured balloons, confetti, and even a lucky few fans getting to share the stage with the guys for some songs. An NFG show is definitely unlike any other, and it's easy to see why this band has built such success over the years. This is one act that don't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

 NFG.

NFG.

The Sick Tour is winding down, so make such you catch this lineup while you can! You can keep up with the band here so you can see them at their upcoming BreakFEST Festival performance, which Bayside and The Movielife will join them for as well.

-Nathan

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Dinosaur City Records Has a New Mixtape Out & It's More Important to Listen to Now Than Ever

By: Julia Talen

Dinosaur City Records (DCR), a small independent label out of Sydney, Australia, has been issuing annual mixtapes for the last couple of years. With their third one released at the end of May, Jordanne Chant, co-founder of the label shared, “the mixtapes are a nice way of showcasing a diverse mix of brilliant music that’s being made at the moment.”

 Cody Munro Moore. 

Cody Munro Moore. 

Most of the tracks off Dinosaur City Records Mixtape #3 are unreleased, and listeners can locate indie musicians based in Australia, NYC, and LA across the compilation’s 23 tracks. Moreover, as the DIY music scene continues to go unrecognized or be simply dismissed (ahem Rhinoceropolis and Glob here in Denver), it’s important for people to tune in to what artists are continuing to create and innovate.

Thankfully, DCR is keeping independent music alive. Chant and co-founder Cody Munro Moore clearly have a keen ear for original musicians and listening to this mixtape (via online streaming, digital album, or cassette tape) is a must for any music nerd or curious listener looking for something different than their Spotify “Discover Weekly” playlist.

The mix starts with Ali Flintoff of Denise Le Menice. Her hazy track, “Addiction” casts a lofi DIY vibe that’ll permeate much of the album, weaving psychedelic surf rock undertones into the fiber of the tune. It’s catchy, lovely, and enticing.

As we move through the tracks, we get a taste of a variety of genres. “Tender” a tune by Sophie McComish, the artist behind Tuffence Meringue, soothes the listener with hypnotic vocals and instruments, evocative of authentic musicians like Frankie Rose.

Brooklyn-based band Navy Gang’s tune, “Just Kidding Not” follows. Their infectious and witty tune with lyrics, “I’m indecisive/I fucking hate you/No I don’t/Don’t know if I love you” evokes Animal Collective during its chorus, as the band whales, “I don’t ever wanna be alone again.” It’s pretty brilliant. And this clever, experimental tune leads into “Cockroach,” by Bourgeois Earth, which is probably my favorite of the 23 songs.

“Cockroach” is wildly exploratory, melding electronic sounds with brass instrumentation, and ethereal and alien-like vocals that make their mark. If you like the 2009 album Merriweather Post Pavilion, or really any sort of experimental pop music, you’re going to love this one. Though it’s exploratory, this ingenius track is compact and holds together, not flailing every which way as it probes all sorts of music genres and instrumentation throughout its corners.

Mezko’s “Without You” reminds me of some genius new work from LCD Soundsystem, Bored Short’s “Bar Cards” slows things down a little, reminding me vocally of Alex Cameron’s somber, but brilliant songs. Sadventure’s “One More Night” also breaks ground with its drifty, floaty melody, similar to a song off an old M83 album, getting heavier as it moves along.

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In the latter half of the album, we hear Painter Paige Emery’s lo-fi, hazy tune, “Here Now Stay Go” which sounds like she’s painting pieces of her song into the air to create a masterpiece of sounds.Track 17, Romy Church of e4444e’s song, Volume Two has a rhythmic opening and shifting and folding lo-fi vocals that are calm yet penetrating. And Cody Munro Moore’s new wave tune “As The Empire Fell Apart” definitely evokes the artful, post-punk vibes of Talking Heads.

I’ve only scratched the surface on the myriad of incredible music across this mixtape. DRC’s curated a record that’s original, unique, cutting edge, and incredibly important to listen too. The small label’s mission to honor and acknowledge independent music is of utmost importance to the music scene these days, so be sure to tune in.

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Campout for the Cause Was the Most Grounding Music Festival I've Ever Been To

By: Mirna Tufekcic

The 10th Anniversary of Campout for the Cause took place the first weekend of June at the beautiful Meadows in Buena Vista, Colorado. Kicking off the high country summer, Campout was a community gathering of yogis, nature, and music lovers alike. Campout’s mission over the years has been to step away from the party so familiar to music festivals and focus more on community, conversation, yoga, and music while contributing to a meaningful cause. Each year the cause changes, but it generally focuses around environmental, humanitarian, and educational topics, and it’s always for a not-for-profit organization.

 Acrobatics. Photo Credit: Molly McCormick

Acrobatics. Photo Credit: Molly McCormick

This year, however, the cause was a little closer to home. The proceeds went to a Campout for the Cause partner Michael Welle and his family to help pay for their daughter’s medical expenses. Emery, now two years old, has been fighting embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric cancer, since she was five months old. For almost two years, Emmy has been undergoing regular chemotherapy treatments at Children's Hospital in Denver. Her prognosis is encouraging, but this tough little ladybug still has a long road to travel before she gets better.  For more information or ways to donate, you can visit Emmy’s Friends.   

That being said, attending Campout for the Cause this past weekend felt really good. Knowing that the money spent at the festival was going to be an honorable cause while enjoying nature, yoga, music, and learning about sustainable living filled my cup for the weekend and was a great way to start the summer days. It also felt really good to relax and be surrounded by families with children, without the pressure of drinking, taking drugs, or partying to fit in. The vibe of the festival was really grounding and quiet, despite the loud music coming from the stage every evening.

 Pixie and Party Grass. Photo Credit: Zach Malone

Pixie and Party Grass. Photo Credit: Zach Malone

Speaking of the loud music, the lineup was quite enjoyable. Unfortunately I missed Mandolin Orange on Friday night, but I caught the whole lineup on Saturday evening which featured The Lil’ Smokies, Intuit, Tierro with Bridget Law, Grantful Dead Review (Grant Farm’s very own take on the Grateful Dead), and others. Sunday evening, last of the festival, featured Bonnie Paine of Elephant Revival with Friends, while Grant Farm closed the night.

Workshops during the weekend ranged from building a sustainable lifestyle and self-love to belly dancing and hula hooping. Yoga classes were offered each day with instructors like Gina Caputo teaching on the main stage, “Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga” at the pond of the meadows, and aerial yoga for both adults and kiddos. If you think these sound unappealing, think again. All of them filled up before the afternoon!

 Yoga. Photo Credit: Zach Malone.

Yoga. Photo Credit: Zach Malone.

Campout for the Cause is presented by Wondergrass, the same people who put together the annual Winter Wondergrass music festival in Steamboat Springs. So if you like the grassy, rooty, folk feel of a music festival without all the beer and party fuss, come out next year for a real feel-good, wholesome experience at Campout. And give to the cause! See you next year.

-Mirna

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Five Things We Love About the Initial UMS Lineup

 Slowcaves at UMS 2017. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Slowcaves at UMS 2017. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

One of our favorites events of the year announced their initial lineup last week. Denver’s Underground Music Showcase will return to South Broadway July 27th-29th and right now, early bird tickets are just $35. Earlier this year, Two Parts purchased the music festival from the Denver Post, and while the Denver event company will be keeping classic pieces of the fest alive, they’re also bringing new fun into the mix. Here are our five favorite things about their initial announcement:

5. The fest has been shortened to three days.

Previously, the UMS started on the last Thursday of July and ran through Sunday night (some years the fest even hosted a preview show on Wednesday evening and then ran four nights following). This year, Two Parts has solidified the fest to run strictly Friday-Sunday, and while this does mean a few less shows, it also means attendance at Sunday shows is likely to improve. In years past, Sunday was a slower day, especially for afternoon sets. We get it- it’s hard chasing your favorite bands with an Oskar Blues brew in hand for four or five days straight. But this year, with three strong days of shows, no excuses! We expect to see you from dusk ‘til dawn and back again. Or at least everyday from Broadway brunch onward.

4. There will be a lot more happening than just music.

We love music. In fact, that’s most of what we do at the UMS every year. But this year, Two Parts has added in more experiences at the fest- panel discussions, comedy, and even podcasts. Local artwork will be showcased throughout the weekend too. Bringing together the entire artistic community, along with Denver’s incredible music scene, is something we’re excited to witness and connect with at this year’s UMS.

3. 303 Magazine will be curating “The Underground” pop-up events.

In their announcement of the festival last week, 303 Magazine reported that they will be hosting “unique experiential moments in various locations inside the festival for all attendees to spontaneously discover.” It’s these sort of weird surprises that keep things super interesting and build a community that festheads want to come back to year after year. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for this.

2. The headliners rock and the touring acts are so good.

Festival lineups can vary year to year, but this one rocks. Alvvays, BJ The Chicago Kid, Classixx, Cloud Cult, Deerhunter, Digable Planets, Frankie Cosmos… damn. After hitting Alvvays’ sold-out set at the Ogden last fall, we were pumped to see they’re one of the headliners. But in all honesty, every touring act on this year’s lineup is someone we’re stoked to see. Impressive.

1. There is still a MAJOR focus on local.

When festivals are bought and sold, there’s always the risk they’ll become more corporate with a focus on all of the (mostly) same touring acts hitting the festival circuit for the season. We had no doubt Two Parts would keep it real since they’ve helped curate events like Denver Flea and they created the Denver Passport Program. That said, we’re excited to see SO many local acts billed as tier two this year. Favorites like All Chiefs, Chloe Tang, CITRA, Last of the Easy Riders, One Flew West, Slowcaves, The Savage Blush, The Velveteers, and Tyto Alba topping that tier brings a big smile to our faces, as we’ve covered and watched these acts grind over the past year. Plus, the UMS’ overall lineup announcement included a lot of regular favorites and a lot of up-and-coming. There’s a great balance and a lot of different music to see. Overall, the local push was strong and we’ve heard rumors it’s only going to get better with the next announcement round this June.

It may be June, but we’re counting down the days until the UMS per usual. Countdown with us and grab your tickets here.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Basement Revolver Are the New Faces of Scuzzy Dream Pop

By: Brody Coronelli

The Canadian trio teases their new LP Heavy Eyes with the lush single “Baby.”

Basement Revolver are no strangers to reverb. Their explosive and astral take on ‘90s rock, shoegaze, and dream-pop is soaked in it, calling back to bands like My Bloody Valentine and the Cocteau Twins while also harnessing a modern punk sensibility that renders them immediate and fiery.

 Basement Revolver. 

Basement Revolver. 

The band have been on a steady rise over the last two years. After two EPs, they’re finally gearing up to release their debut full length Heavy Eyes this August. The first offering from the album is “Baby,” a lush, pop-forward, and anthemic track that sounds like a hazy recollection of a summer day long since passed. The song is dreamy, but also loud and forceful, as frontwoman Chrissy Hurn’s vocals echo through walls of sopping, melodic guitars, and the drums pummel in the background like distant thunder.

The album, due out on August 24 through Sonic Unyon and Fear of Missing Out Records, will feature a balance of new and old material. New songs like “Baby” are in the mix, and older songs like “Tree Trunks,” which draws a parallel between mental and environmental health, and “Johnny” (part one, which appeared on their self titled debut EP and part two, which appeared on their Agatha EP released last year), all of which chronicle the difficult end of a relationship.

"'Tree Trunks' was written when I started experiencing panic attacks for the first time, and my increasing need to find a professional who could help me to find better ways to cope. It also tries to mirror how I imagine the environment feels sometimes- and how the environment is tied to many people's mental health,” Hurn said in an interview with The Fader.

The album was recorded at TAPE studio in Hamilton, Ontario, the same place where they recorded their first two EPs. The band found their sound and nurtured its evolution in the same environment, creating a sonic progression in their discography that feels natural and inviting.

“[Working in the same studio on this album] also gave me the confidence as a writer to not take myself so seriously, to let myself get cheesy or goofy with some songs,” Hurn said in a press release for Sonic Unyon.

You can stream “Baby” below. Be sure to keep up with Basement Revolver here.

-Brody

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Lettuce & The Floozies Set to Play Third Annual "Rage Rocks" at Red Rocks This Friday (06/08)

By: Will Baumgartner

Bands don’t get to Red Rocks by accident, and in the case of seminal “future funk” unit Lettuce, they’ve proven themselves a few times over to be a consistent headliner at the legendary venue. This Friday’s “Rage Rocks” event, which they’ll be co-headlining with Lawrence, KS electro-funk sensations The Floozies, will be the third annual recurrence of what’s sure to be a blissful rage party under beautiful Colorado skies. And as anyone who has attended a concert at Red Rocks knows, our skies are even more gorgeous when a masterful band like Lettuce fills them with their wondrous sounds.

 Lettuce.

Lettuce.

Another thing that basically never happens is an act getting to Red Rocks overnight. Sure, buzz bands come and go, but they mostly go. Lettuce has proven they’re not going anywhere with a solid two decades of consistent and persistent touring and recording, while making many ears and feet incredibly happy. And as proven yet again on their most recent release, a live recording of their Miles Davis tribute Witches Stew, there’s a lot more going on in their music to feed listeners’ thirsty ears, minds, and souls than simple dance grooves. This reimagining of songs from Davis’ intensely creative late 60s/early 70s experimental jazz/funk fusion period shows that the members of Lettuce are more than adept at the art of sophisticated, soulful group improvisation. The album, which features re-readings of songs from Davis’s Live-Evil, In A Silent Way, On the Corner, and of course Bitches Brew, shows Lettuce not content to merely replay the songs, but to take them to a whole new level. Given that they’re pushing the genre forward in this way, it’s a small wonder that they’ve been compared to other contemporary fusion pioneers like Flying Lotus, Thundercat, and Kamasi Washington. Add this skill to their fierce dedication to the almighty funk groove, and you’ve got a formula guaranteed to please both the body and the mind.  

Lettuce certainly have the pedigree for it, as can be seen just by looking at the credits boasted by their mighty rhythm section. Drummer Adam Deitch, who also plays with Break Science, has played with some of the biggest stars in jazz, hip-hop and soul, including John Scofield, 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, and Wyclef Jean. And bassist Eric “Jesus” Coomes has not only toured with Britney Spears and The Game, he’s also a noted producer, having worked with the likes of Kanye West and Dr. Dre. The other members- keyboardist and vocalist Nigel Hall, guitarist Adam Smirnoff, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, and trumpeter Eric Bloom- are all highly sought-after musicians who can be heard working all over the international music scene.

Lest anyone get too caught up in this musician’s-eye view of what Lettuce does, let’s be perfectly clear here that this Friday’s show, like all the shows they do, is going to be a party. You don’t need to know anything about jazz to catch the electric buzz of Lettuce’s lightning-rod performances. Above all, this band knows how to get an audience moving and smiling. Co-headliners The Floozies, a duo comprised of brothers with producer/guitarist Matt Hill and drummer Mark Hill, are widely known for their combination of cutting edge electronic music production with insanely infectious dance party grooves and incendiary live performances. With breakout Canadian act The Funk Hunters and Portland, ME rising stars Jaw Gems also on board, it feels entirely safe to say that this Friday’s event at Red Rocks will more than live up to its “rager” name.

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Lettuce, The Floozies, The Funk Hunters and Jaw Gems perform in the third annual “Rage Rocks” at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison CO this Friday June 8th. Tickets here.

 Keep up with Lettuce on their website and on Facebook

-Will

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. 

Review: Retrofette's New Single "Lover In Japan" Is a Tasty Summer Splash of Synthwave

By: Norman Hittle

Denver-based Retrofette are an electropop act with 80s era funk and a splash of synthwave. Their latest single, “Lover in Japan,” is due out just in time for summer. Check it out:

If you left it up to me to describe Retrofett’s sound, I would liken it to what might have happened if Broken Bells, Julian Casablancas of the Strokes, Prince, and David Bowie had the chance to record a song together. Is it that good?! Yes, yes it is.

Frontman Sean Culliton pretty much nailed the overall feel with his comments on the song when he told us, “Lyrically, (it’s) a melancholy note written to an estranged lover. But sonically, it's a sunny day at the beach with neon sunglasses and volleyball montages.”

 Retrofette. 

Retrofette. 

The band is the byproduct of keyboardists Sean Culliton and Xavier Provencher's love for vintage synthesizers and sweaty dance floors. Joined by synth bassist Ben Weirich and drummer Dylan Johnson on stage, the quartet’s brand of 80s-tinged synthpop was born in March of 2016. Aside from this single, Retrofette released its debut three-song EP I Don’t Mind in 2016. They have also played BolderBeat’s Official Showcase at 2017’s Underground Music Showcase, been listed as one of 303 Magazine's top Denver acts to see, and selected as the “Best Pop” act of 2017 by Westword Magazine.

The guys will be celebrating the release of “Lover in Japan” this Saturday, June 2nd at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox. The night will also feature sets from Motion Trap and DJ Clay Cornelius. Tickets and show details here.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

OptycNerd's Newest Single "Instigator" Is Made to Get You On Your Feet

By: Julia Talen

OptycNerd's latest single, “Instigator,” out June 1st, is the perfect addition to your summer party playlist or that mix you put on in your car for late night summer drives.

 OptycNerd.

OptycNerd.

The infectious dance-y tune lyrically explores the complexities of relationships, specifically the instigation of nuanced relationships and how trying to figure out who the instigator is can take away from the moment at hand.

The instrumentals and composition of the track excel in a myriad of ways. The song begins with an ethereal almost alienesque introduction before echoing vocals enter and layers of drums, percussion, and clapping build along with a catchy tempo. As the song fills out, OptycNerd's interest in multiple genres comes through.

Bursts of pop sounds rupture the light, electronic feel of the song, evocative of bands like Passion Pit and CHVRCHES. A synthy guitar bridges the refrain and verse at one point and the track recedes with a funky outro in which the muffled, muted, cosmic vocals melt into a full circle ending.

OptycNerd has themselves instigated a melding of different sounds to cultivate a quintessential electropop tune that will make even the non-dancers want to dance along.

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

For Being Afraid of the Dentist, Vance Joy Lit Up Sold-Out Red Rocks Show with Nothing But Smiles

 Vance Joy.

Vance Joy.

There’s this story that I think you’ll like. This guy decides to quit his job as an Australian football player and heads to the internet with his ukulele. This musician writes a hit and finds himself. He just played the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and sold the 10,000+ capacity place out himself.

Oh, oh. That’s some impressive stuff.

This is the story of James Keogh, best known as Vance Joy. The Australian native, who left a promising football career behind to play indie pop folk tunes for the masses, first released his 2013 hit “Riptide” independently on the interwebs. Shortly thereafter, he signed with Atlantic Records for a five-album deal. His subsequent 2013 release God Loves You When You’re Dancing went triple platinum, he dropped Dream Your Life Away a year later followed by a world tour opening for Taylor Swift, and this past February, Joy’s third release Nation of Two hit the airwaves.

 Joy and the rocks

Joy and the rocks

“I never knew when I put this song on the internet what would happen and I’m still surprised.” Joy said at his recent Red Rocks show before playing “Riptide.” The radio jam inspired a massive sing-along between the rocks, with Joy even stepping back for a chorus to let the crowd shout the tune, a song he actually wrote about a hotel on the Australian coast.

Along with “Riptide,” Joy played other crowd favorites including “Mess Is Mine,” “Georgia,” and his latest “Saturday Sun.” He was backed by a five-piece band which included a duo horn section and an upright piano player. Mid-set, the group crowded around the front of the stage together for an acoustic breakdown for “Little Boy” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” Later, they played a Lionel Ritchie/Justin Bieber mashup of “All Night Long” with “Sorry,” which had fans screaming, dancing, and even laughing. A Bieber cover? I know. But it was really good!

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On every track of the band’s 17-song set, it was impossible not to notice Keogh living up to his stage name. His 6’ 3” frame cracked a wide smile before, during, and after every song. Literal joy was plastered across his face as he crooned to the delight of the sold-out crowd under Colorado’s full moon and clear skies.

Backstage before the set, Joy divulged, “This is the best venue in the whole world!” before talking about how surreal it felt to be getting ready to go onstage when he and his girlfriend had been hiking around Red Rocks Park just the day before. “I’ve never seen a show here but this is incredible!” he smiled in the most unassumingly excited tone. Later, Joy’s manager Jaddan Comerford revealed this night was a true highlight not only for Vance, but for everyone involved on his team. And yet for someone about to play one of the biggest shows of their career to date, Joy was relaxed backstage, busting out dance moves, chatting about his Ogden Theatre performance a few years ago, and just generally chilling.

 There were fans. And then there were  fans .

There were fans. And then there were fans.

Joy’s Nation of Two Tour continues with shows in the US and Canada through July followed by a massive international run through the end of the year across Australia, South America, and Europe. Several of these shows are also already sold out. And whether you’re a die-hard fan (like the woman above), a recently converted boyfriend following Red Rocks, or the casual singer/songwriter listener, you’ve got to admit: Oh, oh - that’s some really impressive stuff.

See more Vance Joy show photos here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram.

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Vermillion Road Celebrate Newest EP With Packed Show At Lost Lake

By: Nathan Sheppard

Denver band Vermillion Road recently released Escape, their first EP in the last three years. To celebrate, the band played an intimate show at Lost Lake this past Friday. They were joined by Right Before Rain, Sophie Music, and Creature Canopy for support.

 Vermillion Road. 

Vermillion Road. 

Lost Lake was buzzing even before Vermillion Road took the stage, and the guys were able to channel that energy into their amazing performance. Frontman Will Robinson is a showman through and through, and he was able to get the crowd hyped either singing along or dancing with each song. While it was only about a 45-minute set, it was still a solid one where everyone had a great time. It was the perfect way for Vermillion Road to introduce everyone to Escape.

Escape is a six-song pop-rock EP that encapsulates the bands new direction from their previous rock roots. The opening track “Gasoline” is a fun, upbeat love song that will definitely get stuck in you head. Halfway through is “Eye On You,” where you can hear the influence of bands like Imagine Dragons or OneRepublic. The song combines the right amount of rock with a touch of electronic beats. Escape gives you everything that we like from Vermillion Road and adds a little experimentation which will catch your attention. It’s the perfect record to jam to anytime of the day and will have you listening on repeat.

Keep up with Vermillion Road and grab their new EP here.

-Nathan

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.


What Happened at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018

What Happened at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018

Thousands of music lovers once again descended on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 2018 Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), a weekend of unbridled fun and endless music. Its mission statement as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal was, “Never grow up.” Looking at the fun that was had, it is fair to say that the crowds took this motto to heart.

Grammy winners on show

For all the other attractions, the EDC 2018 was ultimately all about music, and there was plenty of it all throughout the weekend. Songs from various genres permeated the airspace of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with electronic music at the forefront of the festival. Hip-hop hits blared all over, too, with tracks from Grammy winners Kendrick Lamar and Drake emerging as clear favorites. Singles from artists such as Diplo, Darude, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs were also well received.

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Equality at last

The EDC served as a platform for various artists to showcase their musical talent, with acts like Lost Frequencies, Matt Medved, NGHTMRE, Pendulum, Sage Armstrong, Vini Vici, and Warface all performing sets. Notably, this year’s festival featured the biggest female lineup in EDC history. Fifteen of the most talented females in the industry, including Black Madonna, Mija, Lauren Lane, Mariana Bo, and Rezz, put on a dazzling display of talent, proving without doubt that more female artists deserve to be on the EDC stage in the coming years.

Packed with fun

The festival also had much more than just the music, as it came with its own amusement park rides that incorporated electric displays. These included a Ferris wheel, a Big Splash water log ride, and a Pharaoh’s Fury ship. The rides complemented the music perfectly and added an extra dimension to the festival.

Wanna get married by Elvis?

Every year the festival has something special for lovebirds, as the ECD offers the opportunity to get married in true Vegas style: a wedding package that comes with an Elvis officiant. The package includes an Elvis minister, two songs by Elvis, and the use of the Daisy Electric Bouquet. It is no surprise that people want to be married by the star, as it is hard to understate how important his love affair with Vegas was in creating the city’s music heritage. Elvis’s road manger Joe Esposito explained why Vegas and Elvis were a perfect match, stating: “He enjoyed Vegas tremendously because it was the only town you could do 24 hours a day”. His legacy continues to be celebrated to this day across the world and through all forms of entertainment. Elvis The King Lives by Foxy Bingo shows that even though he has been dead for many years, fans still want to interact with and celebrate the star whether it is online or being married by him. The EDC crowds embraced the spirit of Elvis this year by partying for 24 hours.

What make it so special?

What makes the ECD so special is the crowd, who dress up and embrace the spirit of the festival. For those thinking of heading to Vegas next year, start planning your time to include the Electric Daisy Carnival.

Sevendust Played a Stellar Sellout Show at Denver's Oriental Theater

By: Nathan Sheppard

This past Tuesday Grammy-nominated rock veterans Sevendust played a sold-out show at the Oriental Theater in Denver.

 Madam Mayhem.

Madam Mayhem.

While not the most conventional venue for such a big show and many Oriental employees dishing that this was the most people they'd ever seen there, every band still had amazing performances. Starting the night off was singer-songwriter Madame Mayhem and her “in your face” style was what the early crowd needed to get hyped.

 Memphis May Fire.

Memphis May Fire.

With many still flowing in and filling the place, Texas metal band Fire From the Gods took command of the stage and proceeded to melt faces with heavy guitar riffs and screams. Being the heaviest band of the show is not always the easiest to get the crowd going, but these guys did a great job and threw in some softer songs as well. Last of the openers was metalcore vets Memphis May Fire who had just gotten to the venue a half hour before the show due to van problems. Despite the slight setback MMF still gave us their all, with their unique blend of heavy breakdowns and silky smooth melodies.

 Sevendust.

Sevendust.

Finally, it was time for the moment that everyone was waiting for. Sevendust took the stage and their loyal fans showed them their appreciation by screaming and yelling as loud as possible. With the band being around for over 20 years, there was a wide variety of songs on their setlist that everyone could sing along to. Mixed in with the hits were a couple singles from their 12th studio album All I See Is War, including “Dirty.” It's easy to see why Sevendust has been so successful for so many years: they put on a performance that captures the crowd's attention from start to finish. On the way out, several fans mentioned their anticipated return of Sevendust to Denver.

For the remaining dates of their tour and to follow what the band has in store next, click here.   

-Nathan

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

'Does This Look Infected?' 15-Year Anniversary Tour Hits Denver With a Birthday Bang

By: Nathan Sheppard

Denver was treated to a party this past Monday as we celebrated the 15-year anniversary of Sum 41’s iconic album Does This Look Infected? at The Ogden.

 Deryck Whibley of Sum 41.

Deryck Whibley of Sum 41.

The festivities were kicked off by Super Whatevr, who recently released their debut album Never Nothing, with their unique blend of sad topics with upbeat lyrics and melodies. This was the band’s third trip through Denver in the past few months and each time their show gets better and better, as was seen when people throughout the crowd were singing along to “Bloomfield” and “Someone Somewhere Somehow.” Their fun loving attitudes were infectious and a great way to get everyone excited for the night.

Seaway, who is arguably one of the best modern pop-punk bands today, followed Super Whatevr and absolutely smashed it. The band’s charismatic frontman Ryan Locke brought so much energy to the set as he jumped and danced all over the stage. Seaway had the whole crowd bouncing along with them to older song “Slam,” along with new tunes from their album Vacation like “London.” It was a great set to pump everyone up for the main event of the night, Sum 41.

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With confetti flying, Sum 41 started the set off with a bang and a slight pause to pick a couple of fans to watch the whole thing from the side stage. Frontman Deryck Whibley called it a birthday party for the fans, saying without their support none of this would have been possible. With it being a birthday party, he encouraged people can do “whatever you want,” and with that rule in place they did things a little differently than other anniversary shows and played a “setlist that they would have played back in 2003” and mixed all the DTLI songs up. The set included their hits “Over My Head,” “Still Waiting,” and “The Hell Song,” with a new song “Fake My Own Death” (inspired by a demo tape from DTLI). The show finished off with a three-song encore ending with their breakthough song “Fat Lip” for a fitting way to end this birthday bash.

 The crowd. 

The crowd. 

It’s pretty crazy to think that one of the essential albums that many pop-punk fans grew up listening to is 15-years-old today! Sum 41 gave us a night to remember and a night to relive the glory days of 90s and 2000s pop-punk. You can follow the remaining dates of the Does This Look Infected? tour and keep up with Sum 41 here.

See all the photos from this show in our gallery.

-Nathan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Review: Elder Grown Release First Record In Seven Years & With It, They've Found Home

By: Julia Talen

The Durango-based band Elder Grown released their sophomore album last month, and though the band's been playing music for a little over 10 years now, they haven't released a record since 2011 (Fire on the Way). Sam Kelly, the band's saxophonist gave insight into why the group decided to self-title this record: "[it] well represents the band because the group… blends so many different genres throughout a set and can kind of sound like a mixtape… this felt like the best representation [of us as a band]."

 Elder Grown.

Elder Grown.

The record certainly showcases a range of talent and skill with a bit of a mixtape vibe. The tunes are explorative organically, highlighting the group’s knack to dig into different genres, yet because Elder Grown has a "jam band" improvisational quality to their compositions, the movement between each genre, whether it's funk, jazz, reggae, or hip hop, flows and works.

The motif nature, a connection to Colorado's landscape, runs throughout the record. The first track, "Feel you in the Sun," brings listeners into the album slowly, like a sun peaking onto the Front Range. The instrumentals including the soft percussion and whiny saxophone linger and wander before the band begins to sing lyrics, "Home lies in this dirt, in this earth/Hope lies in your hands, always now, in your hands." The group's vocal harmonies are rich and layered, similarly to their instrumentals, as the track traverses jazz and rock genres over the course of seven minutes, ending full circle on the same notes that it opened with.

The next track, "I Like You," is a more upbeat switch from the opener. The tune has a lo-fi feel with hazy vocals. The funky sax and bass carry through this short track, and the song has an energy to it similar to the adrenaline rush of having a crush that the lyrics allude to, with twists and turns that reflect the ups and downs of human emotion.

The third track "Dreamin'’" showcases another side of Elder Grown: hip-hop. It opens up with a bit of a disco feel but dives into hip-hop with facets of the track and a reminiscence to Jurassic 5. Once again the sax brings a bit of a funky edge to the tune as the lyrics tell a story we can all relate to of a relationship that has ended, but both parties "dream" of what it would be like to go back to the good times.

As the album continues on, the tracks continue to survey the skillful variability this group's tapped into. "Animal" reminded me of Portugal the Man (another very versatile band), "Rolling Thunder" has an Eastern European feel to it with rootsy instrumentals, and "Never Stop Dancing" has a catchy electro-pop ambiance.

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"Made or Ate the Bread," another longer track, was one of my favorites. Lyrically the tune is poetic: "Be mindful how you made or ate the bread/Remember you don't always catch the fish you’re fed/With this in mind I give my thanks and I get my rest." The tune picks up with a groovy beat and more reggae vibes before cascading into a dreamy and wandering interlude juxtaposing the upbeat pieces of the song and holding a mirror up to one of the albums themes: that though you may wander or stray, you always come home to yourself.

Elder Grown has come home to themselves with this album. The sax carries through their tracks, as do the themes of relationships, human complexities, and nature allowing them to seamlessly and organically survey all sorts of musical genres that represent the band's musicality. There's a fearlessness embedded in the tracks. Elder Grown goes for it because they've come home to themselves in this self-titled record.

Check them out this weekend Saturday, May 26th at Denver Day of Rock at the Welton Street Stage.

-Julia

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Compass & Cavern Release New Music Video For "Before it Begins" ...In Reverse

By: Norman Hittle

Denver-based pop/rock duo Compass & Cavern have been working hard on bringing you quality media since 2015, and their newly released video for “Before it Begins” doesn’t disappoint!

At first you may be thinking this video isn’t anything groundbreaking. I mean, sure the song is cool, but they’re just kind of singing and playing instruments. But then maybe it’ll dawn on you as it did for me, the ENTIRE video is put together in reverse and then reversed again to play forward! And then I really started looking closely: Is frontman Will Timbers playing that solo accurately backwards? Is synthesist Chris Frucci also playing the correct keys in reverse? It seems like it!

Though yes, this technique isn’t their original concept, you have to give them some big props for putting together such a well rehearsed production that most bands wouldn’t spend a quarter of the time on. And it’s especially cool when considering the real-time actions they have in the background of different scenes, like Chris spray painting walls while Will is singing and playing. Moments like these give you the unmistakable knowledge that the band didn’t edit the crap out of their footage to make these things work.

 Compass & Caverns. Photo Credit: Jason Neal Menon

Compass & Caverns. Photo Credit: Jason Neal Menon

“Before it Begins” is the title track from Compass & Cavern’s 2017 full length release. As with a decent amount of their music, C&C show a definite influence from other hip-hop-meets-pop-rock acts with nods to bands like 311, Twenty One Pilots, and Fall Out Boy.

The band has a good amount of performances booked for the rest of the month and into June, so check out their dates here and try to make it out to one of their upcoming shows!

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

KABOO Announces Stellar Lineup For Music Festival Under the San Diego Sun

 KABOO. 

KABOO. 

While most music festivals reward those with extensive knowledge of alternative artists, KABOO Del Mar gears toward those who listen to artists commonly heard on the radio, and their 2018 lineup certainly does not disappoint. Held at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds in San Diego on September 14th-16th, the festival hosts multiple forms of art with a star studded music and food lineup.

Huge names in rock will grace the fest, including Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, and legendary Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant. Other artists performing include pop sensation Katy Perry, Jewel, Blondie, Cake, Jimmy Eat World, Robert Delong, and The Spencer Lee Band.

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The comedy portion looks just as appealing as the tunes this year. Craig Ferguson is the top billed gutbuster, along with Iliza Shlesinger, Nick Offerman, and Chris Hardwick. On top of that, featured chefs of the festival include Troy Johnson, a regular face on Food Network, and Dakota Weiss.

KABOO is certainly worth making the trip for even if you don’t reside in San Diego. With plenty of hotel options like L’Auberge Del Mar and Doubletree Del Mar, there should be nothing stopping you if you want to see some of music’s top performers of current and late. Get your tickets here if you want in on the fun!

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Splash House Returns To Palm Springs For A Sixth Year of Pool Parties

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This June and August, Splash House festival returns to Palm Springs, CA for its sixth year of EDM-fueled pool parties and concerts. So far, the lineup has been announced for the first weekend, June 8th-10th, and it includes all-stars like Duke Dumont, Blacklizt (Zhu), and What So Not.

What is so unique about Splash House is that it takes place in three different hotel resorts in Palm Springs: The Renaissance, The Riviera, and The Saguaro, all of which are equipped with pools that the DJ’s play near. It’s the fun of Las Vegas day parties, just with a bit more laidback California attitude. Following the pool parties, there are late night shows at the Air Museum, an incredibly unique venue which has helicopters and airplanes scattered around its grounds. Playing the after-hours shows so far this year are Nora En Pure, Autograf, and SNBRN, among others.

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If you can make it out to Palm Springs, the rest of the festival is surprisingly affordable, with a number of different hotel and ticket packages. Currently a general admission ticket goes for $135. Although June hotel packages are sold-out, there are still a select few tickets available for the August 10th-12th event. These packages start at $700 and include two tickets and a two person hotel room for three nights.

Make sure you bring your favorite pool floaties and dress in your brightest colored clothes for this one! Splash House definitely plays on the colorful design of the hotels in aesthetic and sound. You can even check out The Saguaro in Neon Trees’ music video for “Feel Good.” Buy tickets here for the June event and here for August before it’s too late! We can’t wait to cannonball with you into great music!

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.