Denver's Foxxes Are Starting the Right Kind of Fires

By: Sam Piscitelli

On January 17th, 2019, I was introduced to the Denver music scene. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Although, I had listened to Foxxe’s sophomore release, “Firestarter” a couple of hours prior to their release party at Globe Hall, I had never ventured out and seen the live music Denver had to offer. I have to say though, this first experience was one I’ll never forget.

From the moment Foxxes stepped onto the stage, they captivated the entire room, as if they somehow had the ability to make people gravitate towards them. There was something in the air, and whether it was the band’s agreed upon excitement about playing live for the first time in little over a year, or their driven intent on delivering an album that made them feel complete as musicians, you could tell this performance was going to be their most heartfelt yet.

Foxxes.

Foxxes.

As the band started to play, you could feel Globe Hall come alive. Their energy engulfed the room, leaving nothing but their music to be heard. With their delicate delivery, but powerful presence, the audience joined Foxxes as they traveled across their new discography and dipped into their old catalog as well. Their subtle control over their own compositions and melodies relayed a sense of envy. For a band who is only now releasing their second album, the members of Foxxes are experts in their craft.

Each member stood up on the stage bathing in their own individual glory. This wasn’t a feeling of just watching another well-oiled rock machine, but rather watching equally talented musicians in their own right come together to perform a piece of art that has brought them together. While Foxxe’s approach to rock music isn’t as deafening as other acts, their ability to pull you in, come together and set the room on fire with controlled flames shows that while, yes, they’re young as a band, they nonetheless have a deep musical prowess. What made their release party even better though was the authenticity of it all. They weren’t trying to be someone else or pretending to be better than they are because they know who they are is good enough for them.

By the end of the night, they thanked the audience for their patience, for their time, and for their support. They then reminded their fans that while they would like to be paid for their art, they understand if you can't afford it or aren’t willing to pay and told fans they could take a free copy of their record Firestarter if they’d like. I was blown away. They explained by saying that they “just want their music to be heard.” To Foxxes, what matters to them is the music and to them, their music being heard was the real reward. The following day I bought both their albums and considered myself a fan.

Live music has a tendency to have a fight or flight atmosphere to it, one where you're never sure what you as the listener will hear or not hear. I came in that night to Globe Hall with no expectations, but I left with the confidence that the Denver music scene is in good hands.

Keep up with Foxxes here.

-Sam

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.

Review: Major Glen Know Their Way Around a Hard Rock 90s Vibe & They Aren’t Ashamed to Rub It In Your Face

By: Norman Hittle

Glendale rock trio Major Glen seem to know their way around a hard rock 90s era vibe, and after releasing their debut album a few weeks back, they aren’t ashamed to rub it in everyone’s face.

Major Glen.

Major Glen.

What you may notice right out of the gate is these lo-fi alt/punk rockers have a ton of “sounds like” references, and as you go on through their music, the list just piles up. We have nods to The Violent Fems, The Pixies, The Wallflowers, and even a splash of Nirvana, not to mention some of their lyrical content, which lends itself to themes similar to Weezer’s Blue Album and Pearl Jam’s Ten. Now, normally, I would say all these similarities lean toward a lack of identity, but I am flabbergasted at how well Major Glen manages to make this cumulative 90s influence their own thing.

Unfortunately for us, these guys only have seven songs on this debut. Granted, it’s seven more than we had before, but not to worry. They are slated to begin recording their next batch of songs in January 2019 and in the meantime, are trying to make their rounds with some live performances in the Denver area, like the one below:

Major Glen will be supporting The Mazlows August 24th along with Stray the Course and Exit Liberty. Event details here.

Keep up with Major Glen posted on Facebook.

-Norman

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

RIDE Festival Is One of Colorado's Most Beautiful & Friendly Fests

By: Cy Fontenot

There are few things more pleasing than the sounds of music complemented by the mountains of Telluride. There is a beautifully synchronistic vibe that resonates within this breathtaking box canyon in the Uncompahgre Mountains which seems to pull together the best situations, and last weekend, RIDE Festival once again brought all of this together.

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The first day started off with Tyler Childers bringing some grassy vibes to the stage before a rock’n’roll extravaganza began. After Larkin Poe, Big Something really kicked of the jam vibes and then passed the torch to ZZ Ward, who was a fantastic opener for the wonderful Sheryl Crow. Following these female stronghouses, String Cheese Incident hit the stage and took the crowd on a psychedelic journey, kicking off one of the best Saturday nights RIDE has ever had. Following the Cheese, the late night crowd danced their behinds off to Kitchen Dwellers ‘til the wee hours of the morn, and it was all laughs and bluegrass from there! The crowd at RIDE proved sleep is for the dead.

Sheryl Crow. 

Sheryl Crow. 

Day two kicked off with New Respects, followed by the Quaker City Night Hawks, who really pumped the rock vibes for next-up Dhani Harrison. Chris Robinson Brotherhood followed, sending swells of sounds into the mountains and beyond, which set a strong, beautiful tone for the evening. Grace Potter’s set was next and took the crowd to the edge of tears, which really put us in a vulnerable state for what was then one of the most inspiring sets of the weekend, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. Drummer and band leader Joe Russo has the capability to build an incredible amount of energy and fluidity instrumentally, which really set the stage for Tom Hamilton to channel Jerry better than anyone I’ve seen (and I’ve been to more than a few Dead shows).

The Cheese!

The Cheese!

That’s when Cheese came back for round two, and I don’t know if anyone was prepared for their Sunday night set. Starting things off with dueling drum solos, the Colorado classic band played one of the most intriguing sets I’ve seen from them. They created such a space for the human experience in their sound that no one wanted the weekend to end.

Overall, RIDE Festival was one of the most beautiful, friendly, and fun weekends of the summer. There’s really nothing like the sounds they set up squished between the awesome peaks of Telluride. Keep an eye out for next year’s Ride Festival lineup; we’ll bring it to you as soon as it’s announced.

To view a full gallery from this year’s festival, click here.

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.

-Cy

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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Town Park still has spots available, 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.

Keys Maestro Erik Duetsch on Leftover Salmon’s New Album 'Something Higher'

By: Cy Fontenot

For 28 years, Colorado’s bluegrass scene has been graced with the eclectic sounds of Leftover Salmon, one of the most considerable pioneers of the genre. Descendants of a lineage of impactful bands such as New Grass Revival, The Band, and The Grateful Dead, Leftover Salmon’s coined genre of “Poly-ethnic Cajun Slamgrass” has had a marked influence on the bluegrass scene as we know it.

Leftover Salmon.

Leftover Salmon.

I recently had the pleasure of exchanging a few words with Salmon’s keys player Erik Duetsch in reference to Leftover Salmon’s upcoming album 'Something Higher.'

Leftover Salmon has been at this for a while and have helped pioneer the bluegrass scene. How do you feel about how the community and how newer headlining acts have progressed?

Well I’m the newest guy to the scene, and pretty much one of the only keyboardists, so I’ve got a unique, if not slightly less-informed perspective: What I’ve seen from the new acts is a lot of energy, talent, and good youthful musicality. Billy Strings, the Kitchen Dwellers, and Horseshoes and Hand Grenades have really impressed me, and I wouldn’t doubt if all of their stock continues to rise rapidly.

What are some of your influences? Did any of them inspire the new record?

I’m literally influenced by all genres of good music new and old- classical, jazz, rock, funk, country- and I think our new album draws from all of this, at least from my personal keyboard input. In the end, I think we found a nice, artistic, pop-rock-folk album that feels modern and classic all at the same time.

If you had only one day on earth, what album would you listen to?

It would have to be Reach Out by Burt Bacharach.

Leftover Salmon at Winter Wondergrass 2018.

Leftover Salmon at Winter Wondergrass 2018.

Erik, who kills it hardest on the Hammond B3?

I think I Gotta go with Dr. Lonnie Smith. Shout out to Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGrith, and Shirley Scott too.

What territory does this new album explore?

[grinning widely] All of it! And more.

Pre-order Leftover Salmon’s new album ‘Something Higher’ and catch their upcoming tour dates on their website. Their new record drops May 4th so don’t miss them at Red Rocks later that month with Phil Lesh And The Terrapin Family Band; tickets here.

-Cy

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

Backseat Vinyl Talk To Us About Flipping Their Sound & What's In Their Name

By: Nathan Sheppard

Backseat Vinyl are a two-piece outfit made up of Nate Fuller (guitar) and Keenan Clarke (drums) who are paving their way into Denver’s music scene with their unique sound. The band was originally a metal/punk act four years ago when the duo started the band as a side project. But shortly after, the guys did a 180 and flipped their sound.  

Backseat Vinyl.

Backseat Vinyl.

“We initially started out with a very 90s grunge sound, but after getting tired of it, we began to evolve into a more indie style and have been perfecting the craft since,” says Keenan.

Although they changed up their style, you can still hear punk crafts in their music, especially with the drums on their newest single “Swing On By,” and with the guitar riffs in “Greaser.”

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When asked about their musical influences, the band names Nirvana, Vampire Weekend, Wavves, The Frights, and Hippo Campus. And when it comes to songwriting, Nate said that he “just uses everyday experiences and how they affect you and make you feel” as inspiration. This style gives them a very raw feel that people are able to relate to easily, and the duo’s fun-loving and carefree attitude is a breath of fresh air in a scene where some bands can take themselves too seriously. This demeanor was most evident when I asked about the backstory of the band’s name.

“When brainstorming a new band name on the drive back home from a studio session, Nate and I were in mutual agreement that we wanted the first part of the name to be ‘Backseat’ because I always had a plethora of trash in the backseat of my car. We combined it with ‘Vinyl’ when trying to think of words that paired well together and rolled off the tongue.”  said Keenan.

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The duo was recently featured on Channel 93.3’s locals-only show, which in Keenan’s words, “was a cool experience… hearing that other people listened [to us] on the radio and to get that kind of exposure is great.” Backseat Vinyl also played the Moon Room this month, one of their biggest shows to date, opening for New Jersey band Prawn. The guys have four singles on Bandcamp with an an album in the works, and have some studio time planned later in the year. In the meantime, you can catch Backseat Vinyl March 23rd at Streets of London Pub with Sadgirl and Bruiser Queen. Tickets here.

Nate and Keenan have a great musical chemistry with one another to create songs that you can just jam out to. Keep up with the band 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.

Starset Struggled Through Technical Difficulties At Recent Denver Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

Starset’s show in Denver last Friday hit a few snags with delays and technical difficulties, but pushed through to have the best show possible. The sold-out show at Summit Music Hall started out on the right foot with a line stretched around the block for the cinematic rock band with a line just as long at the merch table inside.

People went wild during Palisades.

People went wild during Palisades.

New York band Year of the Locust took the the first and put on a solid set highlighted by fan interaction and a sing-along to their single “Sunrise.” EDM up and comer Grabbitz then provided a change of pace to the show with “My Cloud” and a song by Deadmau5 call “Let Go,” which the two collaborated on. While the crowd bobbed their heads along, there seemed to be a lack of expected energy in the building- it just didn't seem to be the right kind of crowd for electronic tunes. Things picked back up with post-hardcore band Palisades, who provided a much needed energy boost complete with a couple of circle pits. The band had everyone singing along to the fan favorites “Better Chemicals” and “Let Down” and really shined as one of the best performances of the night.

Things took a more frustrating turn getting ready for Starset. The band was supposed to start around 9:30PM when the house light dimmed, but were met with the crew working on the projector setup for about 45 minutes until they finally got in to work... for the most part. The guys took the stage and started what was a very entertaining show, but unfortunately mid-way through the third song, their video once again went out. Fans were met with another long wait while they tried to fix the system again. It wasn’t until almost midnight when the band finally gave up on the video and decided to just go with their light show sans visuals. At this point though, about a third of the sold-out crowd had left disappointed. The people that did stay, however, were treated to a quality show that ended around 1AM.

Starset.

Starset.

The frustrated crew and band were able to salvage what they could of the night, but left many underwhelmed by the entire experience. We can only hope that all of the band’s technical difficulties are worked out before their next journey through space and time back to Denver. The rest of Starset’s tour dates can be found 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.

The Velveteers' Release Party Was Bloody Good Rock'N'Roll

By: Mirna Tufekcic

The Velveteers sold-out the iconic Hi-Dive in Denver last Friday for their self-titled EP release party. An hour after the doors opened, the place was packed with both young and seasoned heavy rock’n’roll fans.

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The keen energy in the room was stoked by Denver’s own hard rock/punk band Plastic Daggers, who by the end of their set decided to smash their bass against the stage. Their drummer also brought so much thrill to the performance that he left the stage with bloody hands. There is nothing like blood and broken instruments to start off a good night of music at the Hi-Dive.

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Plastic Daggers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

During set break, fans were getting excited for the main event of the evening. As sound check started, people eagerly stared at the stage in anticipation for the first riff from The Velveteers to send them off. When you have fans getting this excited for sound check, let’s be real, you must be doing something right.

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The lights dimmed and The Velveteers walked onstage, accompanied by grave-like organ instrumentation blasting over the speakers. Noah Shomberg and John Demitro hit the first beat on two synced drum sets positioned on opposite sides of the stage as Demi Demitro, the front lady set dead center between them, sent out her signature harsh and heavy, yet elegant strokes of baritone guitar off into the crowd.

Demi Demitro. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

Demi Demitro. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

If you haven’t already heard, Demi Demitro is a powerhouse to be reckoned with. Her undeniable talent and presence on stage demands attention and awe as she sings mesmerizing lyrics with enchanted vocals seasoned to put a hex on you. But it’s the song “Just Like The Weather,” the lead single from the band's new self-titled EP, that is ripe with vivacity and momentum to take this band to even higher places than they've already been. Their entire performance was the guitar-scraping-monitors, head-banging blast that the band has come to be known for.

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Velveteers. Photo Credit: George L. Bosser

The Velveteers’ Hi-Dive show kicked off their release tour, which will take them around the Midwest for the rest of the month. For their upcoming shows, keep up with their Facebook. May the rock’n’roll be with you!

-Mirna

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