The End of an Era: Warped Tour Comes to a Final Close at California's Shoreline Amphitheatre

By: Nathan Sheppard

It’s hard to put into words what Warped Tour has meant to so many people over its 25 years of hot summer days in parking lots around the country. Founder Kevin Lyman saw an opening to start a new type of festival to highlight less mainstream acts and ended up launching artists like No Doubt and Katy Perry to stardom, and opening doors for punk rockers like Blink-182 to become one of the biggest bands in the world.

Circa Survive.

Circa Survive.

For two generations of punk, rebel, and emo kids, Warped Tour was a place where they could come together as a community and listen to their favorite artists. It’s essentially the music equivalent of running away to the circus for a day, or for a summer for some. Kevin Lyman said that for the final WT shows of 2019, he wanted to, “Bring the atmosphere of a classic Warped Tour show, but on a scale that our fans simply could not get with a national tour. The bands, the special attractions, everything – we want to bring back elements that have made the Warped Tour, Warped Tour, over the past 25 years.” And he did just that.

For the final shows in California this month, Lyman stayed true to his word and transformed yet another parking lot into a classic Warped Tour by bringing back two of the original acts from the first ‘95 tour, Face To Face and Quicksand. Many of the artists that were pushed into the mainstream thanks to Warped Tour joined for the finale show as well, including Simple Plan, Sum 41, and Silverstein. Warped Tour still maintained its discovery roots though, booking lesser-known artists like The World Over and Street Drum Corps along with WT greats. It was truly the best way to end such an iconic and meaningful part of people’s summers, and it goes without saying that Warped Tour has left a legacy and had a major impact on today's music and festival culture. While it was the ending of Warped Tour in name, here’s to hoping that it might be resurrected in some form, what Lyman decides that may be. And if it is, you bet we’ll be there.

See more photos from the festival here.

-Nathan

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

Taking Back Sunday Celebrate 20 Years with 2 Sold-Out Denver Shows

By: Nathan Sheppard

Taking Back Sunday are currently celebrating their 20th year as a band with a year-long world tour which stopped in Denver for two sold-out shows at Summit last week. TBS has been one of the most influential artists in their genre from the early 2000s, with albums like Tell All Your Friends, Where You Want To Be, and Louder Now, which are all certified gold albums.

Night one and two both started with a play through of Tell All Your Friends which features their smash hit “Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team),” a track that is always a fan-favorite live. TBS played through the rest of the album and then took an onstage break to flip their customized coin to pick between Where You Want To Be and Louder Now. The coin landed on  Where You Want To Be, and the band proceeded to play their second album of the night. The building reached peak craziness during “This Photograph is Proof” and “A Decade Under the Influence.” That energy continued through the encore, where TBS even threw in a few songs from Louder Now ending with “MakeDamnSure,” ending the night with a literal bang as confetti cannons shot glitter through the air.

Taking Back Sunday.

Taking Back Sunday.

The first leg of the band’s North American tour only has a few shows remaining in Utah and Vegas. The second leg will start in September. View all upcoming stope and get your tickets here.

-Nathan

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

I Prevail Bringing 'Trauma' on Tour This Spring & Summer, Including a Red Rocks Amphitheatre Set

By: Nathan Sheppard

I Prevail recently released their newest album Trauma, which is the band's first album in three years. This highly anticipated record offers fans a look at what their genre has to offer in the future, while also giving us the classic I Prevail that we fans have come to love.

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The first track of the album is “Bow Down,” and was the first single released. This track gives us everything that we know the band is great at: the back and forth between Brian Burkheiser’s clean, smooth vocals and Eric Vanlerberghe’s harsher tones, a melodic chorus, and heavy breakdowns. This song is a clear indication that I Prevail still know how to make the jams they’re known for. They also produced one of their heaviest songs to date on this record with “Gasoline,” a tune that showcases Eric’s screaming abilities.

In “Paranoid,” we get a very different track which shows us a possible direction the band could evolve into. They experiment with different genres by incorporating bits of electronic, hip-hop, and alternative elements into this song. This is seen heavily throughout Trauma and is on par with the trend in rock music today to try and appeal to a wider variety of fans. While I Prevail are trying to expand their musicianship, they still stay true to their roots by not overwhelming you with the electronics; you can still tell there are heavy instrumentals in each track.

I Prevail gained a major following with some of their softer rock ballads like “Alone” and “My Heart I Surrender,” and with Trauma we get two of new awesome ballads. The first is “Every Time You Leave” featuring Delaney Jane and the second is the last track on the album “I Don’t Belong Here.” Both of these songs are definitely tunes that you will be turning the volume up to and singing along.

Overall Trauma takes us to an updated version of I Prevail. The album is very well produced and has a much cleaner sound to it than previous ones. While a good chunk of the rock scene is going towards a more mainstream pop style, I Prevail is able to add elements of that without losing who they are as a band. They experiment with newer sounds in a way that is easier to digest compared to changing their sound all together. Trauma is an album you want to listen to all the way through, whether you’re an old fan or new.

I Prevail will being taking their brand new album on tour this spring/summer with Issues and Justin Stone. Their tour starts at the end of April and hits Colorado when the band will make their way to Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 13th for KBPI’s annual birthday bash. Tickets and dates can be found here.

-Nathan

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

Attila & All That Remains Brought Heavy Hits & a Wall of Death to Recent Denver Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

All That Remains and Attila hit the stage at the Oriental Theatre this past week for a night that every metalhead could appreciate. Sleep Signals and Escape the Fate opened things up for the co-headliners.

Attila, who released their newest album Villian in February, took the show to the next level with their party animal antics. Those antics led to a love-hate relationship with most people, but for those who love them, Attila puts on one of the best live performances of any band in their sphere. From start to finish, frontman Chris Fronzak had the crowd moshing and and even threw in a “wall of death” just for kicks. The set was filled with mostly favorites like “Moshpit” and “Pizza” with some new songs from their latest album as well.

All That Remains was the second headliner of the night and continued the mosh party right where it left off. ATR released their ninth studio album Victim of the New Disease this past November which has been a welcome return to their roots as a heavy metalcore band. The first quarter of their set was heavy, with newer songs from New Disease, followed with a medley of older hits. Vocalist Phil Labonte was able to show off a wide vocal range from high screams to low growls, and even showcased his clean vocals in “What if I Was Nothing?”. They topped off the night with their smash hit single “Two Weeks”, leaving everyone exhausted from moshing and jumping throughout the set.

Attila and All That Remains are about halfway through their American co-headlining tour, so make sure you make it out to one of these insane shows! Remaining dates can be found here.

-Nathan

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

State Champs Rocked Their Sold-Out Denver Summit Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

Pop-punkers State Champs played a sold out show this past Monday night at the Summit that rocked our socks off. The Living Proof Tour is the band’s first tour of 2019 after having a crazy schedule in 2018, where they released their third studio album Living Proof and had multiple tours. Supporting bands for the tour include Greyscale, The Dangerous Summer, and Our Last Night to round out a banger lineup.

Philadelphia rockers Greyscale led things off with their unique, stripped-down pop-punk style. Their high-energy performance even caused a few people to crowdsurf up to the front, which can be a tough task for an opener. The Dangerous Summer followed shortly after with more of a laidback set compared to their fellow bands. It gave everyone a bit of a breather to prepare for the next two sets.

Batting third was Our Last Night, who are best known for their metalcore covers of radio hits like “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift and “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran. They recently released their fifth album, Let Light Overcome, earlier this month. The band combines softer melodic pop-rock elements and heavier metal elements that give fans the best of both worlds, making them an easy band to like. Adding all of that to a great stage performance made for an epic show that set the stage for State Champs.

State Champs.

State Champs.

In the cleanup spot was State Champs, who were without guitarist Tony Diaz due to illness. Luckily, they were still ready to knock it out of the park. The set kicked off with the leading track and single from Living ProofCriminal”, and you could see a wave erupt through the Summit as everyone tried to get as close to the stage as possible. The dance party continued throughout the 20-song setlist, which included fan favorites like “Remedy” and “Perfect Score”. While 20 songs weren’t enough for some people, State Champs finished with their breakout single “Secrets” to put a cherry on top of this night.     

To stay up to date with everything State Champs-related, and with the current tour click here. If you can’t make it out to this tour, you can see them later this summer at Sad Summer Festival, a Warped Tour-esque festival featuring Mayday Parade, The Maine, and The Wonder Years.

-Nathan

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

Grammy-Nominated Bands Bring Me The Horizon & The Fever 333 Rocked The Fillmore

Bring Me The Horizon.

Bring Me The Horizon.

Grammy-nominated rock band Bring Me The Horizon released their sixth studio album Amo in January. Amo is the band's most experimental album to date and possibly the most divisive album for longtime fans. But it may also be one of their best musically and commercially with hit songs “Mantra” and “Medicine” but also some of the deep tracks like “Sugar Honey Ice & Tea” and “Heavy Metal,” which round the album out nicely. It’s the only time in the band’s history that they have had a #1 album in the U.K. The band first gained notoriety as one of the premier deathcore bands in the mid 2000s and slowly gained a “poppier” sound with each successive album, leading them to be one of the most popular rock acts to date.

BMTH are currently on the First Love Tour supporting the latest album with special guests The Fever 333 and Thrice. The sold0out show at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver this past Monday was packed to the brim early. Fans were setup to see fellow Grammy-nominated artist The Fever 333, who are known for their crazy onstage antics, particularly front man Jason Butler (formerly of Letlive). Old-school hard rockers Thrice were sandwiched in the middle, playing a solid show to setup for BMTH.

BMTH are known for putting on entertain and theatrical performances with a great light show to match. The set started out with a bang, with streamers flying throughout the venue as the notes for “Mantra” shook the building. Even with a couple of technical difficulties in the first few songs, BMTH powered through like nothing was wrong. The band rarely plays any songs from albums older than Sempiternal, much to the ire of the OG fans, but they still rocked the heavier songs from that album. The set was topped off with the #1 single from the band’s last album Throne, and they then sent everyone home with a confetti shower to celebrate a night of amazing music.

The guys are on the tail-end of their U.S. tour before they take a quick break and start again on a Mexico and South American tour. You can check out Amo for yourself and follow the band here.     

-Nathan

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

Sylar's Nu Metal Brings Fans Out Early for Denver Stop

By: Nathan Sheppard

New York band Sylar, who is supporting Beartooth this winter on The Disease Tour, made their Denver stop this past Saturday. The band recently released their third studio album Seasons in October as an ode the people “who can’t speak and the people who are too scared to dream” according to frontman Jayden Panesso. The guys have fashioned themselves after Linkin Park, with more modern and updated styles that give the rap-rock genre a breath of fresh air.

Sylar.

Sylar.

Gaining notoriety from their hit single “Soul Addiction” and a Warped Tour stint in 2017, Sylar have quickly gained a supportive community around them. While most opening bands play to a half-filled venue, people wrapped around the building and down the alley waiting in the cold to get in early for Sylar’s set. The band opened with a few up-tempo songs to get the crowd warmed up and then hit them with “All or Nothing” and “No Way” from Seasons to kick things up to the next level.

While the openers’ set is always on the shorter side, Sylar has definitely gained even more fans on the first leg of this tour with Knocked Loose and Beartooth. Their energetic live show combined with clever hip-hop lyrics from Panesso, and silky-smooth clean vocals from rhythm guitarist Miguel Cardona create a new sound for the metalcore genre.

You can check out Seasons here and get your tickets for upcoming dates on The Disease Tour here. And whatever you do, get to these shows early for Sylar!

-Nathan

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

Mayday Parade Rolled Through Denver All Smiles for Their 'Sunnyland Tour'

By: Nathan Sheppard

Denver was treated to a Warped Tour reunion this past Wednesday as Mayday Parade’s Sunnyland Tour made its stop at Summit Denver. Mayday was joined by Oh, Weatherly, William Ryan Key, and This Wild Life, all of whom played at least one date on this past year’s final Warped Tour.

Mayday Parade.

Mayday Parade.

Oh, Weatherly kicked things off with an up-tempo pop-emo set. They had a good stage presence and were able to keep the crowd engaged by sharing the stories behind a couple of their songs, mixed with a joke or two. While they’ve only been a band for two years, they are already road veterans. William Ryan Key followed up with a very mellow acoustic set. While the songs were enjoyable, the set was a bit slow for the energy in the room. Key amped it up with a sing-a-long of “Ocean Avenue,” but finished with an unreleased song that no one knew which was a questionable choice after playing something everyone was grooving to.

Self-described “Hot Topic meets Mumford & Sons” two-piece This Wild Life followed up Key’s performance with fun, upbeat acoustic songs from their latest record Petaluma. The duo had a happy-go-lucky attitude that was infectious and spread a smile to everyone's face. Midway through the set, lead singer Kevin Jordan gifted us with a Blink-182 ukulele medley as the drum set was rearranged onstage, which was a highlight of the set as well. This Wild Life have gained a pretty strong following over the last couple of years and it is easy to see why; they have a unique sound that is appealing for everyone.    

Mayday Parade topped off the night with an epic 17-song set with tunes from their debut EP Tales Told By Dead Friends to their most recent, Sunnyland. It was truly a celebration of the band’s 12-year-old discography. The crowd was a mix of teeny boppers, twenty somethings, and “grown men who are still emo kids” according to lead singer Derek Sanders. But it showed that Mayday Parade’s songs music spans generations. The set itself had everything Mayday fans could ask for, from singing along to the oldies and a couple covers, it was an enjoyable time for all.

You can listen to Sunnyland and check out the rest of the the band’s tour dates here.

-Nathan

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

Blessthefall's 'Hard Feelings Tour' Rolled Through Denver with a Vengeance

By: Nathan Sheppard

Blessthefall’s Hard Feelings Tour rolled into Denver this past Saturday at the Bluebird Theatre. The band was joined by A War Within, Thousand Below, Ded, and The Word Alive. While the Bluebird wasn’t as full as it has been in the past for these acts, it made for more of an intimate concert experience for everyone who did show.

A War Within started the night off with a short but energetic set followed by Thousand Below, who also cranked out a quick half-hour set. Ded was up next and you could tell that they have a pretty loyal following, as a good chunk of the crowd appeared to have shown up just to see them. The band is a mix of nu-metal and a little hip-hop, similar to old school Linkin Park, only heavier. The always entertaining Word Alive finished things off for the openers and toward the end of their set, they played a song in tribute to Kyle Pavone, the late singer of We Came As Romans.

Blessthefall was finally up next and the party was kicked up a notch. Frontman Beau Bokan commanded the stage from start to finish, energizing the crowd and making everyone jump and dance along with him. The group’s set had a heavy dose of songs from the band's newest album Hard Feelings, and sprinkled in some of the old favorites like “Hollow Bodies” and “40 Days.” Beau was also flooded with crowd surfers for most of the show, but didn’t miss a beat once, managing to give each and every surfer a hug before they dove back into the crowd. The guys finished off the night with “Here’s That Song You Wanted” with the same amount of energy and enthusiasm they had at the start of their show.

The Hard Feelings Tour was a fun show experience, and it winding down, there only a handful of shows to see for yourself. Find the remaining dates and keep up with the band here.  

-Nathan

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

'Mourning In Amerika Tour' Keeps Red Rocks Amphitheatre Crowd on Their Toes

By: Nathan Sheppard

The Mourning In Amerika tour was everything that you would expect: a perfect mix of politics and great punk rock. All those who made it to Red Rocks Amphitheater this past Saturday were treated to three of the best punk bands from the past few decades.

Running onto the stage first was Anti-Flag, who is arguably the most political band out there. They made it clear from the start that they stand for no racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, or discrimination but also love having a good time. Normally you would see some moshing or crowd surfing at an Anti-Flag show but being at Red Rocks, jumping around had to suffice.  

The crowd geared up for every inner emo kids’ favorite band AFI. Everyone in the band ran out onstage minus lead singer Davey Havok, as the rest of the band played the hard-hitting intro “Strength Through Wounding.” They then flowed into “Girl’s Not Grey” as Davey made a dramatic entrance on stage. About halfway through the set, Davey went out into the crowd and then climbed on top of a rock on the south side of the venue to sing the rest of the current song. They then finished with their most popular song, “Miss Murder” to top off the epic set.

Rise Against was finally up and the Red Rocks veterans captivated the venue from start to finish. Rise Against is a perfect combination of the openers- they’re political and they rock the hell out. Frontman Tim Mcllrath frequently talked about current events and environmental issues between songs. After playing through eleven tracks, we were gifted with a mini five-song acoustic set, starting with “Voices Off Camera.” The band played this from the soundboard in the crowd. The set was then finished with a three-song encore with the final song, “Prayer of the Refugee” closing out the night and everyone singing along and dancing.

This is a collective of artists you don’t want to miss live! The remaining dates of the Mourning In Amerika Tour can be found here.

-Nathan

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

'Game of Thrones' Brought Its Incredible Live-Concert Experience to Denver's Pepsi Center

By: Nathan Sheppard

As many Game of Thrones fans are gearing up for a long wait through fall and winter for the final season of the iconic HBO series, Denver fans were treated to a night of musical and visual adventures at the Pepsi Center. The concert featured Ramin Djawadi, who composes all the music for the TV show, along with an 80-piece orchestra and choir.

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The show started with a parade of “White Walkers” and a build up into the classic GOT theme song. From there, Djawadi & Co. went in semi-chronological order through the first three seasons of music. One act featured a violin solo performed with the musician suspended in the air in a long dress to represent a weirwood tree as red leaves fell from the rafters. This created the first of many amazing visuals. Another highlight of the opening act was the wildling attack- in this part, snow fell and a 30-foot wildling horn shook audience member’s seats. Between every couple of songs, Djawadi told us stories about how the next song was composed and what inspired him along the way.

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After a short 20-minute intermission, the show continued with the next four seasons, starting with Djawadi shredding on guitar as pyrotechnics shot out behind the choir and dragons flew around on the production screens. Working through to season seven, the entire outfit played through many of the most intense scenes of the show, culminating in an organ solo which occurred with the player suspended 15-feet in the air.

Overall, it was a wonderful show and a great way to experience Game of Thrones from a different perspective. It was interesting to see what goes into making the music behind the legendary show. It was also a fantastic way to recap what has happened in the series so far in order to get ready for the highly anticipated season eight in early 2019.

The live concert experience still has a handful of shows left so make sure you get out to see this amazing concert! Remaining shows can be found here.

-Nathan

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

Parkway Drive's Current 'Reverence Tour' Is a Must-See, Once in a Lifetime Production

By: Nathan Sheppard

Parkway Drive’s headlining Reverence Tour made its Denver stop at the Ogden last Sunday and featured some of the hardcore scene’s biggest names.  

Polaris.

Polaris.

Australian band Polaris, who are on their first ever tour in the U.S., started things off for the eager, sold-out crowd. While many didn’t know their songs, they made up for it by moshing and jumping around.

The Devil Wears Prada. 

The Devil Wears Prada. 

The Devil Wears Prada were next up and rocked hard. Lead singer Mike Hranica set the tone by running across the stage to get the crowd going. The band’s songs were a great combination of hard hitting breakdowns and calm, smooth melodies.

August Burns Red.

August Burns Red.

August Burns Red were the last of the openers for the night, and continued to build off the heavy-hitting songs of their predecessors. The Grammy-nominated band showed why they are one of the best: Jake Luhrs brought his brutal screams, and the intricate tapping solos from JB Brubaker were the main attractions for their set.

Parkway Drive. 

Parkway Drive. 

For those whose necks weren’t already sore from headbanging, Parkway Drive made sure everyone went home sweaty and sore. The Australian band made their U.S. debut in Denver 12 years ago, so they always make sure to bring their best for the Mile High crowd. Parkway features some of the heaviest breakdowns in their genre, and accompanied by Winston McCall’s screaming, it makes for one insane show. Their 15-song set finished off with “Bottom Feeder,” sending everyone home on a high note.

This all-star lineup was easily one of the biggest and best shows of 2018. The Devil Wears Prada and August Burns Red could easily sell out their own headlining shows, so to have them with Parkway Drive on the same tour made for a once in a lifetime experience. For your chance to be a part of this tour check out the remaining dates here.

-Nathan

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

Denver's DJ Low Key & Red Bull Music Have Partnered for the Ultimate Block Party This Weekend

By: Nathan Sheppard

This Labor Day weekend Red Bull Music & DJ Low Key are hosting the 7th annual Goodness Block Party; a staple of Denver’s vibrant hip-hop music scene since 2012. The event will take place between 27th and Larimer St. centered around the events long time home The Meadowlark in the RiNo neighborhood this Saturday, September 1st. The party is an 18+ (with valid ID) event and starts at 4PM.

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DJ Low Key has been an integral part of Denver’s hip-hop community for over a decade, beginning with his collaboration with DJ Lazy Eyez and weekly hip-hop parties (The Solution) for over 11 years. His parties have featured local artists and brought in national acts to highlight Denver’s unique hip-hop, soul, and DJ culture. This year DJ Low Key has partnered up with Red Bull Music to feature Denver artists like Sur Ellz and YaSi, as well as national artists TiRon & Ayomari and DJ Jazzy Jeff .

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of, you can purchase yours here.

-Nathan

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

Coheed & Cambria Co-Headlined a Show at Denver's Sculpture Park with Taking Back Sunday & Not Even the Weather Could Stop This Party

By: Nathan Sheppard

If you had a “case of the Mondays,” then Sculpture Park in downtown Denver was the place for the cure. The co-headlining tour featuring Taking Back Sunday and Coheed & Cambria set up west of the Denver Performing Arts complex in-front of the iconic “dancers” sculpture for a rare musical treat.

Taking Back Sunday. 

Taking Back Sunday. 

California band The Story So Far opened up the night with their unique pop-punk sound. What they lack in stage presence, they more than make up for with their music. Their high-tempo tunes like “Out Of It” and fan favorite “Quicksand” were a fitting way to start the night off with a bang.

Taking Back Sunday took the stage next and immediately brought us back to the early 2000s with the opening track from Louder Now.What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?” and continued with the classics from there. About six songs into their set there was a severe storm warning and the park hard to be evacuated for safety. After a half hour wait, the rain had stopped and the weather cleared up enough to let everyone back in. Unfortunately TBS had to cut the set short and were only able to play one last song. Luckily it was a banger- they ended with “MakeDamnSure.”

Coheed & Cambria.

Coheed & Cambria.

Another short wait later, the lights dimmed and the intro to “The Dark Sentencer” started up. Face-melting guitars ensued from there. Coheed & Cambria are known for their conceptual albums and the elaborate stories and comics behind them, which has kept fans so loyal and intrigued by the band. They rocked on with songs like “Devil In Jersey City” and “A Favor House Atlantic.” Their set was topped off with “Wake Up” and “Welcome Home” as the finale.

Though Sculpture Park isn’t the first place you would think of for a concert, this past Monday it was one of Colorado’s best. See our full gallery from this show 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.

10 Sets We Really Loved at The Underground Music Showcase

By: Nathan Sheppard

South Broadway in Denver was home to the 18th annual Underground Music Showcase (UMS) this past weekend and was bigger and better than ever. With 20 venues and 300+ artists, there was truly something for everyone to enjoy. Now under the directions of Two Parts and a very talented booking team, this year’s UMS put an emphasis on community. The UMS provided so many local artists a place to show off their skills and a place to discover new national artists coupled with interesting immersive experiences. From many local artists to national fan favorites, it was a serious struggle to see everyone who played, but these were a few of my favorites from this weekend.

PPL MVR at the UMS.

PPL MVR at the UMS.

The Burroughs

This old school funk band definitely puts the soul in soul music with their high energy live shows. Their onstage presence has enabled this Greeley band to grow a loyal following since 2013. Frontman Johnny Burroughs brings a very distinct singing style and energy that will make you groove along to their funky jams.

Cloud Cult

The experimental indie rock group had us hypnotized with their spacey tunes. Known for their theatrical shows, the band made the most of the shortened set and took everyone at main stage through a musical adventure. There was even on onstage engagement after their third song.

Deerhunter

Another experimental indie band, Deerhunter was also a must see set when they closed out Saturday on the Main Stage. The parking lot was packed tight for the Atlanta band, and they played a number of their hits for the eager crowd. The set ended with “He Would Have Laughed,” and then “Snakeskin” for the encore to finish off the night the right way.

Decatur

Tucked away in Moe’s BBQ on the first night of UMS, Decatur played one of the earlier shows on Friday but rocked the cozy venue. This up and coming alt-rock band made the most of their show by creating an atmosphere with their own lighting and smoke, and then by rocking our socks off. This is a band to keep an eye out for in Denver.

Hot 8 Brass Band

We got our dance shoes on and got down to the funky tunes of New Orleans Hot 8 Brass Band. In fact, I’d say Denver got a little taste of Mardi Gras in July; the guys are able to combine some old school elements of NOLA street music with more modern elements. They even paraded down the street at one point during the fest, making them one of our favorite UMS artists.

My Body Sings Electric

People packed into Illegal Pete’s to get a glimpse of MBSE and the boys brought the noise for one of the best sets of the weekend. The packed room sang along to every song and even assisted with some crowdsurfing of lead singer Brandon Whalen.

PPL MVR

One band that flew under the radar as one of the most entertaining shows of the weekend was PPL MVR. By combining comedy with their synth rock, you get the unique “yeti rock” that made PPL MVR’s set so much fun. They jumped into the crowd in costume at several points and came out to meet fans after their set too.

Silver & Gold

Northern Colorado’s Silver & Gold have quickly made a name for themselves as one of the state’s best local bands. Friday night was proof of that, as Illegal Pete’s was filled to capacity once more. This band’s energetic and fun-loving attitude made for a great time for everyone to dance along to their hit songs “Smoke” and “Headed West.”

Slow Caves

Slow Caves had double duty playing both Saturday and Sunday sets, with their first being at 3 Kings. This old school indie band brings different popular 80’s and 90’s elements to their music and adds modern twists. They’re a Colorado staple so I hope you caught at least one of their UMS shows.

White Denim

Easily the most energetic show of the weekend was from rock band White Denim. The band drew the biggest crowd that the Sesh Stage had all weekend, so it was a bit surprising that this act wasn’t at the Main Stage. Everyone present sang along to their tunes and those who weren’t familiar with the lyrics were jamming out just as hard.

This year’s UMS was definitely one of the biggest and best in the festival’s 18-year history. The UMS is a place where you can bond with people over a shared love of music while being able to support and learn about new local businesses and different ways to become involved in the arts and cultural scenes in Denver. Though under new ownership, UMS proved it is truly the showcase of Colorado’s booming music scene, keeping true to its roots of discovery while also improving community elements and experiences that were new to the fest with its multiple outdoor stages and art installations. We’re glad  to have shared in this year’s amazing experience, and a special thanks to all the artists and volunteers who made this weekend so great.

See a full gallery from our UMS 2018 weekend here

-Nathan

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

Premiere: Skyward Story Releases Latest Single "New Beginnings"

Skyward Story.

Skyward Story.

Baltimore based pop-rock group Skyward Story have released their newest single from their upcoming EP New Beginnings. The group has quickly gaining a large following with their infectious performances and keep audiences intrigued with a catchy and fun style of songwriting. This has drawn the attention of the multi-platinum producer Matt Squire, who has also worked with fellow Baltimoreans All Time Low. Over the course of a year, Skyward Story and Squire have worked to perfect their newest album, which is sure to turn some heads in the music world.

While listening to “New Beginnings” you can also check out Skyward Story on Warped Tour from 7/29 to 8/2.  

!

-Nathan

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

No Small Children- a Band of Elementary School Teachers- Is Rockin' Summer Break

By: Nathan Sheppard

School’s out for summer and these elementary school teachers are living the rockstar life. L.A.’s No Small Children are making the most of their summer break and hitting the road to promote their new album What Do The Kids Say? and last week the band made their first stop in Denver at Lost Lake.

No Small Children.

No Small Children.

The ladies shared the stage with local bands The Lollygags and The Patient Zeros. From the first note, NSC let us know we were in for a fierce punk rock show. The stage presence from each member was clear as they took charge of the venue to get everyone dancing along with them. The ladies had the intimate crowd singing along with them too, and entertained us with the occasional joke between tunes. It was a great show all around and a must-see when they come to a town near you!

On What Do The Kids Say?, which was released this past May, each song is put together brilliantly and has a flow that makes it really enjoyable to listen to. “Then It Woke” is a fast-paced rock song that is hard-hitting to get you head banging. “It’s All for Love” is another banger, and one that is super catchy.

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No Small Children have a short stint of shows in California planned before heading to the East Coast to continue their summer touring, which includes a stop at Chicago’s Riot Fest.  

-Nathan

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

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.


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.

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.