All Chiefs want you to dance all night. At least, that’s what happened at their EP release party at The Squire Lounge in Denver last Friday. Oh, and they want you to drink. But we’ll come back to that. First, let’s start with the dancing.
The party started with Already Sweaty, a local DJ spinning 70s and 80s pop songs who has been known to open many an All Chiefs’ show. And I can see why. This guy sure knows how to kick off a party! Already Sweaty had people slowly starting to gather for the main show while it was still light outside. I was definitely feeling his grooves as I smoked my cigarette on the patio looking in. The early crowd even formed a dance circle, busting moves before the sun went down.
BOX, a Denver-based folky blues rock band took the stage next for some tunes. A few songs in, the band played “Wasted”, and it went like this: “We’re all on our way to wasted/tomorrow’s hangover will come too soon”. I was starting to see the pattern here: drinking with dancing to follow. Halfway through their set, BOX put actual cardboard boxes over their heads, and closed with a couple of harder sounds. The crowd looked pleased. It was time for the main event.
When All Chiefs started to set up onstage, the patio became packed. The night was finally in full swing. Every corner around the bar inside was lined with thirsty, chatty folk, eager to hear the five-piece’s set. Drummer Ben Batchelor’s words from earlier in the evening echoed in my mind, and I laughed thinking about how he said the band intentionally start their sets at the “critical mass of drunkenness.” That’s when the first song started, the track “Collecting Dust” from their brand-spanking new EP Fashion Forward. As I made my way toward the front of the stage, All Chiefs then started in on their cover of Ace of Base’s “The Sign”. And being a 90’s kid, that had me hooked.
Beyond the booze and all the moves, it’s worth mentioning that Mic Carroll, lead vocalist of the band, has an amazing voice. I knew this guy a few years back from karaoke Wednesdays at the now defunct Catacombs in Boulder, where he ran the gig. I stood back, remembering how Carroll would grab the mic to do a cover, and it instantly became clear to everyone present that he wasn’t just your regular karaoke fan. Way to let your soul outchy’er mouth, Mic!
A few more songs from Fashion Forward followed, and the floor was hot! In fact, Carroll prefaced one track by saying, “This song is about dancing. Just think of it like an alien invasion, except instead of them taking over, they just want you to dance!” Did the crowd and I boogie? Yes; yes we did.
Watch All Chiefs' music video for their single, "Pusher":
The crowd cheered when the band called the end of the show, and an encore chant began. All Chiefs closed with a bangin’ cover of LCD Soundsystem’s “Dance Yrself Clean”, a track that just couldn’t have been a more perfect ending to their captivating show.
All Chiefs are so worth seeing live, and their next show is July 14th at Mile High Spirits. They’re a fun, dancey rock band whose songs easily stick with you. Their music is heartfelt, and that’s evidenced best when you get to watch them bop and groove onstage, instruments in hand. As Justen Howard, guitarist/vocals for the band said, “We’re having so much fun and we want everyone who comes to see us to have fun too!” So go have fun with these guys soon, and in the meantime, listen to their great new release Fashion Forward.
All photos per the author; embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.