The Growlers Bring Beach Goth to The Mile High

By: Taylor Naiman

On Friday night, Orange County’s The Growlers brought their Beach Goth 2019 tour to Denver’s Ogden Theatre for the first of two nights in the Mile High City. After their last sold-out show in Denver, it was time for a double-feature. 

The Growlers at The Ogden Theatre.

The Growlers at The Ogden Theatre.

The show had a minimalist stage, with the only vibrant color coming from the lights and a large “The Growlers” banner on the back of the stage. There was nothing that was outright ornate about the stage; this isn’t a band who needs to dwell in “extra.” Looking around the room, people were dancing or drinking with friends. This was a relaxed set, and it continued to maintain the chill throughout its entirety. The band’s stylistic approach channels a mixture of the surf and embodies sounds of a beach with a splash of disco, but all the while, this is a band steeped in their California roots and the laid-back energy that goes along with it. 

The crowd.

The crowd.

Watching frontman Brooks Nielsen onstage with his thick, messy black hair, outfitted in Vans and a striped shirt, he easily oozed cool. Even when the band made a mistake on “Vacant Lot,” he went with the flow and molded the verse to what he wanted it to be in that moment. He’s someone who clearly feels at home in his role. With such a versatile vocal range and a voice dissimilar to anyone else in the industry, it is quite an experience to see this band live with Nielsen at the helm. 

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The Growlers sound is unique, and with over 10 years in this industry, they are continuing to gain new influences in their music. It’s funky, groovy, and gives us a slight nostalgic tinge of the 70s right here in 2019. Of course the setlist was comprised of work from their newer releases, but it was a major highlight hearing the gems from their 2016 album, City Club, such as “When You Were Made,” “Dope On A Rope,” “I’ll Be Around,” “Night Ride,” and the title track “City Club.” 

From crowd-surfing to seeing someone storming the stage for the last setlist, The Growlers shows are a blast to be a part of. If you haven’t yet, get on your California groove and listen here.

-Taylor

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

Nick Murphy fka as Chet Faker Hits Ogden Theatre This Friday With New Music

By: Mirna Tufekcic

Here’s a little gossip for you: not long ago, legendary music producer Rick Rubin hit up Nick Murphy, the artist formerly known as Chet Faker, to suggest they collaborate and create some music together. Murphy wasn’t convinced. But after some sweet talking and email exchanges (and the irresistible gravity of Rubin’s reputation), Murphy found himself working with Rubin at Shangri La, Malibu’s famous music studio. Rubin was also the first to throw out the idea that Chet Faker change his artist name back to his birth name, a risk Murphy took for the betterment of himself as an artist, even at the risk of losing everything he built as Chet Faker. A brave and genuine move, it beckons respect and sparks an interest in hearing his new stuff and upcoming projects.

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Fast forward to April 2019, when Run Fast Sleep Naked was released as Nick Murphy’s latest project, co-produced by Dave Harrington. Murphy’s album is actually pretty good. It’s definitely NOT Chet Faker. Though his voice is still recognizable, everything else about the songs and the album as a whole is refreshingly new. Since its release, it has received a number of positive reviews. The AV Club even wrote, "Run Fast Sleep Naked is Murphy’s unbridled catharsis, vacillating between starry-eyed epiphany and startling heartache. It’s a bumpy ride, but still one worth taking."

Curious about seeing Murphy’s transformation in person? Lucky for you, he’s headed to Denver this week! Nick Murphy hits the Ogden Theatre this Friday, June 21st with tickets here. See you at the show!

-Mirna

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

Sabroso Music Festival Had Eats, Lucha Libre, The Offspring, & the Best Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce in All the Land

By: Taylor Naiman

After its inaugural year in 2018, the one-day Sabroso Craft Taco, Beer, and Music Festival made a return to Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater last Sunday. Whether the crowd saw Nerf from 93.3 KTCL dressed as a taco or witnessed a record-holding competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi scarf down a bunch of tacos in one-minute, there was no shortage of enjoyment. Music, tacos, and craft beer: what is better than this trifecta? Well it did get even better than that. How? One word: luchadores. But more on that later.

Sabroso’s festival was a spicy taco lover’s delight. There were rows of taco trucks with plenty of food to salivate over and a wide range of flavors to choose from. Sponsored by Gringo Bandito, the brainchild of Dexter Holland, lead singer of The Offspring, there was hot sauce on every table in sight whether mild or extra hot. Holland has established a name for himself outside of the music industry and continues to expand his horizons. The Gringo Bandito Super Hot sauce was the perfect addition to my tacos and chips throughout the festival- it gave everything that nice kick I was looking for. As a devout hot sauce lover, it’s something I would put on my chicken, fries, eggs, and definitely on wings. Over the course of the day, some of my other favorite foodie noms included the shrimp taco from the Denver Taco Truck; the green chile chicken tacos, which the menu described as chicken braised in hatched green chile, smoked jalapeno crema, onions, cheese, and cilantro (call my tastebuds now); and the “Pig Sty” tater tots from the Colorado Pig Rig which were smothered in green chile, cheese, onions, cilantro, and jalapeno.

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As a part of the ticket price, festival-goers were able to go from booth to booth and partake in beer tasting from noon to 4PM too. Besides the definite local favorites (i.e. Ratio and Odell), brews that stood out included Rhapsody from Meridian Hive and the Pome Mel from the Colorado Cider Company. Being in the 70-degree weather, both of these hit the spot as refreshing and sweet. The Rhapsody was enriched with blackberry and honey notes and the Pome Mel boasted notes of “Colorado wildflower honey and granny smith apples, with hints of rosemary & lavender”. Though not your typical brews, these evened out the spiciness of the tacos with a perfect little sweetness.

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With food and drink out of the way, let’s get to the action! Los luchadores! Originating in Mexico and characterized by colorful, ornate masks, Lucha libre professional wrestling has its own particular vibe and flavor. It was a major highlight of the festival and there were people of all ages enjoying the comedy and the animation happening inside of that ring. Each of the luchadors had a character to play, and the audience had a favorite that they cheered on.

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At one point, an onlooker decided to step into the ring (hold my beer!), and the luchador slapped the wanderer’s glasses off of his face, thinking he was a part of the show. (Rather hilariously, he was not.) For the fourth and final match, we were treated to a very special guest, the famous luchador, Cesar Gonzalez, a.k.a. Ramses. For those of you who do not know who he is, watch Nacho Libre! This villainous star gained notoriety from Jack Black’s 2006 comedy and women in the audience were definitely shouting “Sexy Pants!” at him. A lucky few were even given the opportunity for a photo with Ramses in the ring. Following the matches, people were allowed to buy their own professional masks, with prices ranging from $20 to $60 each. Each mask was modeled after Lucha libre’s best wrestlers and yes, there was even a Nacho Libre mask. If all of this ruckus sounds like your kind of get down, make sure to catch a Lucha libre match at the Livestock Arena in Jefferson County (Ramses unfortunately not included).

Black Flag.

Black Flag.

Of course, Sabroso had to sprinkle in some good music somewhere too. With a stacked lineup including The Dendrites, Dwarves, Strung Out, Black Flag, The Vandals, Bad Religion, and The Offspring, there was no shortage of entertainment at the festival. Even though the beautiful weather was replaced with a downpour of rain and 40-degree weather by the end of the night, it was all worth it. During The Offspring’s set, many concert-goers had to mosh or jump around to keep warm. The cold was chilling to the bone but the ones who had stayed and braved it got to hear some of The Offspring’s best songs including “Self-Esteem,” “Gone Away,” You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid,” and “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy).” Here’s to hoping there will be many Sabroso Festivals to come!

-Taylor

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









Lettuce and The Colorado Symphony Took The Mile High a Little Higher with Special Show

By: Will Baumgartner

I imagine it’s the same for anyone in the arts: collaboration always lifts you higher. The high one gets from creation, no matter how renewable and perpetually fresh it may be, eventually starts asking the artist, “What can you do with me that you haven’t done before?” And the artist looks at their art and says, “Good question! Not that I’m getting bored, but…”

Not to belabor the metaphor of a relationship between the creative and the created, but in a very real sense, artists are in a sort of marriage with their work- and to keep this marriage from going stale, they must continually look for new things to do, new experiences and situations which will help them achieve the ultimate goal of any good relationship: the elevation of the soul. One more metaphorical extension and I’ll leave it alone before I get into trouble: sometimes, maybe the best thing to do is bring in some other creative people in and see what happens…

Photo Credit:   Tom

Photo Credit: Tom

We’re talking about something beautiful and sacred here, and that’s exactly what the boys from the Colorado-born “Future Funk” unit known as Lettuce achieved Saturday at Denver’s Boettcher Concert Hall when they performed some of their best and most enduring work with the Colorado Symphony. Under the fiery baton work of the young, but already highly accomplished Australian conductor Christopher Dragon, from the selection of material to the inspired orchestration, to the performances of each and every human onstage, it was an ecstatic evening. It was also clearly an elevating experience for everyone involved: the band members, conductor, orchestra musicians, and audience were all beaming and glowing with smiles that just kept getting more beatific through the evening.

Part of that bliss probably had to do with this type of show being a first for the band: at one point, keyboardist/vocalist Nigel Hall said something like, “If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be playing piano with a symphony orchestra…” I missed the rest, as people around me started whooping and screaming. It was a first for me too, as in all my decades of concerts, I’ve never seen a rock band play with an orchestra. As such it was difficult to imagine beforehand what the experience would be like, though knowing how great Lettuce are live and being already familiar with our local treasure of an orchestra, I would have been surprised if it weren’t one of the high points of a lifetime of great shows I’ve been privileged to attend. And sure enough, the only way I was slightly surprised was that the evening exceeded my fondest hopes and expectations. From the opening Lettuce original “Mount Crushmore,” all the way through “The Force,” the last piece in the first set, the way these musicians combined classical precision with the spontaneous fire Lettuce excels in was outrageously wonderful. As layer upon layer of sonic beauty and power was added to the creation, it was an almost overwhelming experience, causing us in the audience to make almost as much noise of our own as we did at Lettuce’s incredible concerts at Red Rocks back in June.

Speaking of Nigel Hall, as great as he is on the keys, that man can really sing. It’s always one of my favorite parts of a Lettuce concert when he opens up that voice, but on Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up,” Hall really outdid himself. The song was a perfect choice for this setting, as the original’s string and horn parts were expanded to spectacular effect, driving an already uplifting song to stratospheric heights. This feat that was repeated in the second set’s cover of Tears For Fears classic “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” another brilliant selection for an evening of orchestral funk-rock. In the middle of “Move On Up” though, we got an extra treat as things got considerably quieter and Hall sang a deeply soulful, gospel-tinged interlude about love, belief, and… I don’t remember everything he sang about, but the extended moment definitely fed my soul. It also felt like possibly the most improvised segment in a program that, by necessity, had to have been pretty tightly arranged. Singing something that powerful and moving in a nearly a cappella setting while allowing oneself to at least partially make it up on the spot- that’s not an easy thing to do and Mr. Hall deserves our appreciation for sharing that gift with us.

Screengrab via YouTube user coloradojohnsons.

Screengrab via YouTube user coloradojohnsons.

Everyone onstage was in top form: drummer Adam Deitch, guitarist Adam Smirnoff, the always fun to watch bassist Eric “Jesus” Coomes, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis and trumpeter Eric Bloom all performed with joyous brilliance. Mr. Dragon led the orchestra with zest and panache, and the orchestra itself was unparalleled. Extra special credit must be given to Tom Hagerman, who has been getting notice as a film score composer outside of his 20 years of work as a member of Colorado’s legendary band DeVotchKa, for his masterful orchestrations. His talent proves that those who work behind the scenes are often as important and essential as the performers themselves. And what a lot of work must have gone into this production! We can only hope that everyone involved felt our love and gratitude throughout the concert and the multiple and richly deserved standing ovations. The Colorado Symphony have previously done collaborations with Elephant Revival, Warren Haynes, and others. But on behalf of myself and everyone who was there Saturday, here’s a humble request that they do it again with Lettuce!

Next up for the band is a three-night New Year’s run through Houston, Dallas, and Austin Texas. Their 2019 Vibe Up Tour begins in January, with support from Ghost-Note and Greyhounds. For all Lettuce tour dates and news, visit the band’s website here.

-Will

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

Of Montreal Brought the Theatrics to Denver Gothic Theatre Set

By: Taylor Naiman

Last Thursday night, Of Montreal brought their eccentricity and psychedelic visuals to the Gothic Theatre. This was a change of pace from their routine stops at the Bluebird Theater in past years. It was a new venue for them and they owned it.

Of Montreal.

Of Montreal.

Of Montreal is synonymous with youth and creativity. This is a group who never fail to create an other-worldly experience and “embrace the weirdness” without hesitation. They are an indie pop band, yes, with their own twist and flair. With quirky song names and unique album titles, it is extremely hard not to enjoy them and dance along to all of their eccentricities. Their setlist at The Gothic included some favorites such as “A Sport and a Pastime,” “Let’s Relate,” “It’s Different for Girls,” “She’s a Rejecter,” and “Gronlandic Edit.”

The production of an Of Montreal show speaks for itself, and there is a high caliber at which it is executed. Attendees cannot help but smile, as they witness the costumes and the innovation comprised on the stage. In fact, this band plays a set that will leave you feeling genuinely happy. Whether it is the dancers donning silver capes and face masks, or the constantly changing visuals in the background, Of Montreal’s shows are theatrical and innovative. To some, it may seem like a strange concert, but this is what makes them unique. It is a stylish time, with sensory appeal and full of fantastic energy. It is all a fantasy; an imaginative experience with characters, such as aliens and robots. At times, you may even feel like you have entered an altered state of mind.

Kevin Barnes. Photo Credit: Will Elmore

Kevin Barnes. Photo Credit: Will Elmore

Whether it is the graphics, costumes, lyrics or musical composition, it took an extremely creative mind to come up with all of these ideas. A major source of all of this creativity comes from Of Montreal lead singer, Kevin Barnes. On stage, Barnes has crafted his own uniqueness, one that challenges norms and the status quo of what a frontman “should” wear. He exudes individuality and gender-bends every chance he gets. His costume changes included multiple colored wigs, dresses, skirts, nylons, and a bra. Fashioned in a blond wig and false lashes, he rocked the full-faced makeup and was unafraid to do so. Through his ability to embrace this openness, he is also encouraging many men to step out of their comfort zone, whether it means wearing a dress, a wig, or a skirt to an Of Montreal show. This cultivated community of being who you want to be was a serious treat to be a part of.

Overall, if I were to describe an Of Montreal show in three words, it would be avant-garde, elaborate, and wild. They are unlike any other artist or band in the music industry and continue to differentiate themselves. They are dramatic, energetic, and fascinating. From the moment, Barnes stepped on the stage, there was immediately a smile on every concert-goer’s face. They are highly recommended and a must-see concert. Make sure you follow their Spotify.

Keep up with Of Montreal here.

-Taylor

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.

UK's Yungblud Brings His High Energy Tour to Denver

By: Amanda Andrews

Wearing his signature black and pink, rising artist Yungblud gave exactly the kind of high energy performance it took to lift Denver music fans out of their mid-week slump. After dropping out of high school to pursue his music career full-time, the 20-year-old UK singer has made it clear that he holds nothing back for his art.

Hours before the doors opened, fans were lined up and waiting patiently outside of Larimer Lounge for the chance to meet Yungblud. The singer has a reputation for taking time to talk to his fans before and after shows, and Denver was no exception. People lined up to take pictures and quiz him about the tour and what he thought of Denver.

Yungblud.

Yungblud.

As soon as the sun set and the doors opened it was a race to see who could get the best spot for the show closest to the stage. Fans pressed up against the speakers and the lined the sides of the stage to get the best angle they could to see the upcoming acts. Just as everyone settled in to the venue, the opening band, Arrested Youth, took the stage and all hell broke loose. Frontman Ian Johnson took the mic in a red jumpsuit so bright, torn, and covered in duct tape that it was like a beacon warning the crowd to be ready for his intensity. Arrested Youth played songs from their new album, Fear, which was released last month, along with a cover of “song 2” by Blur. While many of the concert goers were unfamiliar with the group, after songs like “My Friends Are Robots,” “Black x White,” and “Mirrors,” the crowd was jumping and screaming for more. The highlight of their set came as Ian sang “The News,” a track where the chorus repeats “can't stop, don't stop, won't stop falling for it.” Even as he jumped up, stumbled, and fell back onto the drums, knocking over the cymbals, the band played on.

After a quick interlude, Yungblud ran on the stage to a crowd who was just as eager and energetic as he was. Fans of the upcoming artist sang the lyrics right back at him when he opened with the titular track from his debut album, 21st Century Liability. Before the crowd could stop their thunderous applause, Yungblud went right into his most streamed song, “I Love You, Will You Marry Me.” As the night went on Yungblud kept the energy high and the volume even higher. Fans were cheering non-stop as he matched his lyrics with high kicks, shimmies, and hip rolls. By the time the first half of the show was done, the solo artist was drenched in sweat and the crowd was drenched in water that he had sprayed from the stage.

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Much to fans’ surprise, and enjoyment, Yungblud then went on to play an unreleased track called “Loner” as part of the set. Shortly after that, the singer and crew left the stage before returning from backstage for an encore. They played three more songs before ending the night with “Die for the Hype,” a fan favorite. After the show, fans lined up to meet Yungblud and Arrested Youth backstage and to purchase merchandise.

Yungblud’s US tour continues on the east coast October 9th, where they will be performing at the High Watt in Nashville. Keep up with YungBlud here.

-Amanda

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.

'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.

St. Vincent Slays Set at Superfly's Inaugural Grandoozy in Denver

St. Vincent. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

St. Vincent. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

St. Vincent, otherwise known as Annie Clark, electrified the audience on the Scissors Stage at Denver’s Grandoozy music festival on Sunday afternoon. With a 45-minute set, the audience left craving for more and screaming for an encore.  There is no one like her in the music industry right now and no one who has her indie-rock sound and being in that audience made you feel revived, energized, and youthful.

Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

St. Vincent’s music is both emotional and beautiful. She has found the perfect balance between rock and pop, establishing her own path in the industry. The lyrics are wonderfully crafted and her Grandoozy live performance was perfectly executed. Though her last tour she performed solo, she was joined by a band at Grandoozy. She captivated the audience and showed us what it means to rock out the St. Vincent way on her multiple, custom-colored guitars. Every color and every piece on the stage contributed to her aesthetic and her visuals were stylish, fun, and interesting. With her black slicked-back bob, orange latex dress, and lavender latex arm sleeves, her style for Grandoozy was pure chic.

Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

St. Vincent’s style is vibrant, yet minimalistic just like her performance and her stage presence was immense and demanding. Although, she had three other band mates, at times, it almost felt like it was just her- her voice, and her guitar on that stage. Her set was powerful, youthful, and raw. She played songs including, “Digital Witness,” “Masseduction,” “Fear the Future,” “Savior,” “Sugarboy,” “Los Ageless,” and “Slow Disco.” She gave us the opportunity to both dance and rock out. The audience was also treated to an acapella intro to her song “New York” tailored to the Denver audience with “Colfax Avenue” added to the lyrics. It was an empowering experience to see such a strong, talented woman dominate the stage and shred on the guitar.

Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

St. Vincent is a must-see live experience. It was one of the best sets we saw at this year’s inaugural Grandoozy, so if you haven’t yet, check out St. Vincent on Spotify here.

Find the rest of our Grandoozy coverage at this link.

-Taylor

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

Review: Lost Aliens' New EP Welcomes You on a Celestial Ride of Psych

Lost Aliens.

Lost Aliens.

Denver-based band Lost Aliens formed in early 2017 and recently released their third recorded project, Welcome, Welcome, a trippy triad of hypnotic tunes that melds a variety of instrumental components to create a rich set of textured tracks.

Experimental and psychedelic music sometimes loses the listener if its complexities don’t connect. But in Lost Aliens’ case, the use of the flute and simple percussion grounds and balances out the synths and more cosmic qualities of each tune. The blending of experimental instrumentation with simple instrumentation echoes poetic lyrics that fuse components of earthly nature with celestial spaces, such as “creation in a seed/created by a timeless/floating in the stars/growing leaves of revery.” This wonderful mixing carries throughout the EP and invites listeners to ponder the relationship between the abstract and the concrete; nature and space.

The first track off Welcome, Welcome, titled “Ancient Seas” starts off with a deep, synthy intro whch flows like a tide and dissolves into a duet of electronic guitar paired with the flute. The flute gives the song an ancient feel- it’s roomy and mystical, encouraging the listener to traverse the colorful, celestial landscape the band constructs in their music while holding on to the comfort of the familiar flute. The vocals in this song have an unworldly quality to them and hover around the inquisitive musical landscape. Moreover, the rhythmic track has a soothing quality, a vibe that runs through the other tracks on the EP.

The second track, “Good Question (feat. Swan)” evokes a bluesy vibe alluding to the saxophone that will come into play as the track moves forward. The percussive claps that run through the song ground the more exploratory instrumentation, much like the flute in the first song did. This track wanders like our pondering questions and thoughts, as it builds and fills out, almost painting a panoramic mural of the mind like a jungle, once again melding the cerebral with natural imagery via the channel of music.

The final track, “Star Light (feat Space Kitty),” is the most lyric heavy of the three and follows through on the theme of connecting celestial elements like stars and galaxies to natural imagery. The lyrics are optimistic (“starlight shines from inside all of us”), and as the track unravels, the middle hits a catchy, upbeat stride before building and breaking off seamlessly into more psychedelic territory. The flute is mesmerizing as the track wanders toward the ending when a haunting voice tells the listener, “Welcome, welcome/Welcome all/The carnival.”

Lost Aliens’ EP spawns deep, meditative thinking, as we’re left to consider the carnival of life: our place in the universe, the natural world, and the elements in flux between the two. Lost Aliens have churned out a thought-provoking project that invites all sorts of reflection and wondering from listenings through lyrics and instrumentation.

-Julia

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

We're Sponsoring Dandu's Los Angeles Show So We Caught Up With Them On Their "What Are Friends For?" Tour

BolderBeat is proud to be presenting our first show in Los Angeles at Ham & Eggs Tavern next Friday, August 31st from 8PM-Close. The show will feature music by The Colour Out of Space, Neon Clouds, BREATHERRR, and headliner Dandu. Dandu, a Denver-based band who experiment in the sounds of jazz, hip-hop, funk, and prog rock, are currently on their “What Are Friends For?” West Coast tour. We recently sat down with frontman Sean Dandurand to hear more about the band’s time on the road, their latest EP, and this upcoming L.A. show:

We’ve noticed you’ve toured a lot throughout 2018. Tell us about that.

Well, we starting touring last June, when we released our first EP Caught Between. Touring is always something [member] Ben Weirich and I have been interested in ever since we started playing music together six years ago. We’ve been on four tours in the last year; twice to the West Coast and twice to the Midwest. It’s pretty crazy booking and promoting a tour yourself; it’s a lot more work than I ever imagined. Some of the highlights have been playing in Chicago, Nashville, Seattle, Portland, and Santa Fe. Though it’s fun to play in big cities, small towns are always some of the best stops on tour. One small town that sticks out is Redding, California. That town showed up on a Monday night [for us] and was one of our favorite stops on our last West Coast run.

What’s your current tour shaping up like?

We’re doing 12 shows in 13 days starting in Taos and ending in Boise. This L.A. show is the third stop of the tour. We’re hitting some of our favorite places to play, including Phoenix, L.A., Portland, Seattle, and so many more. I’m really excited for the show in Seattle. I got one of my all-time favorite musicians on the bill: Skerik. He’ll be doing a solo saxophone/noise set. Also, in Portland we’re playing with our friends Human Ottoman, and Korgy & Bass will no doubt be a highlight.

Dandu. Photo Credit: Charla Harvey

Dandu. Photo Credit: Charla Harvey

Have you played at L.A.’s Ham And Eggs Tavern before?

We have not played this venue yet, but, always have such a great time in L.A.

How did you connect with the other bands on this bill?

Our good friend Mikey Smith from Denver is playing with his group Neon Clouds. So that’s a special thing for us. It’s always nice to go to a different city and know some of the musicians you play with. BREATHERRR is a performer I’m excited to see. Our friends in Rubedo put us in touch with him. The other group on the bill is The Colour Out of Space, who we connected with through our good friend and L.A. local Linda Kite. The lineup is eclectic, and full of amazing talent. Should be a great gathering!

What’s your favorite way to pass time on the road?

Sleeping is definitely one of the best ways to pass time. We also love to listen to podcasts, and of course to listen to music from our friends at home, as well as the bands we meet on tour! [Member] Dylan Johnson always finds a way to play some 90s hit that we haven’t heard in years. Sometimes Alanis Morissette is the best thing to get you through Kansas.

We really dig your latest EP ‘What Are Friends For?’ Can you tell us more about the production behind that and where you recorded it?

We recorded the EP in three days at Youth on Record. Our good friend Felix Ayodele was gracious enough to let us use the space. All the songs were recorded with the three of us in one room picking the best take of each song. The only overdubs we did were for solos and some of the crazy loop textures you hear. For this session, our goal was to make a recording that sounded like we do live. We had our friends Grant Stringham, Felix, and Steele Kempton engineer the session. Grant produced and mixed the EP; he mixed our previous EP as well. We had our buddy Clark Smith (Dynohunter) do the mastering.

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Do you have plans for another release anytime soon?

At the moment, we don’t have another release scheduled. But our goal is to have a full length album ready in the next year. We’re going on a writing retreat the last weekend of September. We’ll be spending time up in a cabin for four days, with the intent of writing enough material for a new record.

Make sure to come down to Ham & Eggs Tavern next Friday, August 31st with Dandu, The Colour Out of Space, Neon Clouds, and BREATHERRR. There’s just a $5 suggested donation at the door- we’ll see you there Los Angeles!

Portugal. The Man Proved Their Reign In the Pop Rock Sphere at Recent Red Rocks Show

By: Hannah Oreskovich

The Lords of Portland landed in Morrison, CO yesterday at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Portugal. The Man, the progressive rock and recent “Best Pop Performance” 2018 Grammy winners made a sold-out stop at the Rocks between summer festival performances. Formed by John Gourley in 2002, Portugal. The Man originally started as a side project to Gourley’s group Anatomy of a Ghost. After a move to Portland from the group’s origins in Wasilla, Alaska, Gourley and bassist Zachary Caruthers began working on tunes for Portugal. The Man full-time, releasing their debut Waiter: "You Vultures!"  in 2006. The group put out another record in 2007, Church Mouth, and embarked on their first US tour in support of the record. The band then released a series of records with independent label Approaching AIRballoons before signing with Atlantic Records in 2010.

Portugal. The Man.

Portugal. The Man.

With a growing number of festival appearances and the success of their record Evil Friends (2013), Portugal. The Man continued to grow a strong international fan base. After more than a decade of building their brand of prog psych pop rock, Portugal. The Man achieved true worldwide fame for the pop hit “Feel It Still,” which just came out last year. After rising to the top of the Billboard charts, earning the band their aforementioned Grammy, and snagging them a ASCAP Vanguard Music Award, Portugal. The Man suddenly went from that band you once enjoyed seeing at a Bonnaroo tent to a major festival headliner. For this band, that switch appears as though it were seamless, though it took sixteen years.

Now comprised of Gourley and Carothers with Kyle O’Quin, Eric Howk, Jason Sechrist, and Zoe Manville, the six-piece had an incredible Red Rocks performance, both sonically, and in their stage production. Prior to the start of the show, the band had local Lakota tribe members give a blessing to fans before diving into their “For Whom The Bell Tolls” Metallica cover. They then transitioned into their Pink Floyd “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2” mashup with their original “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” before sliding into a catalogue of their originals including “Live in the Moment,” “Noise Pollution,” and of course, “Feel It Still.” The band is known for inserting cover snippets into a mix with their own tracks, and this was evident to listeners with T. Rex’s “Creep In a T-Shirt,” Violent Femmes’ “Children of the Revolution,” The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” and the band’s encore, which featured a crazy mashup of their tracks “Sleep Forever,” “Plastic Soldiers,” and “Smile” with Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die,” and the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” It was also guitarist Eric Howk’s birthday, and the band had the crowd join in for a sing-along during their encore for this, which fans loved.

John Gourley.

John Gourley.

Along with their impressive instrumentalism, the band also had a massive projector onstage which displayed various messages from the band and “their management” since they claim to be bad with stage banter. This allowed for a great visual experience with the show whether you were close or far from the band, something that all major festival headliners know is important for a concert goer's experience. Gourley, who is also an artist, is as well-known to fans for his drawing, designs, and sketches, as he is for his music. Many of the art used throughout the show is his work, and was combined with lasers and projections onto the Rocks themselves, along with traditional stage lights.

Overall, the Lords of Portland proved their reign at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre with their sold-out show this past week. Take a listen to Portugal. The Man for yourselves here and keep up with the band’s current tour on their website.

See our full gallery of photos from this show 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.

Godsmack & Shinedown's Current Co-Headlining Tour Is Explosive

By: Ryan Schultz

My first concert photo shoot as a BolderBeat photographer ended up being one of the best shows I've experienced. It was the first time I’ve seen all three of these bands live and they all had something crazy cool and unique to bring to the table. Like A Storm came all the way from New Zealand for this tour and started the evening off with heavy sounds and something new to me: didgeridoo metal! At one point, the band, who is comprised of three brothers and their good friend, even brought their parents onstage. It was a touching start to the night.

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Shinedown’s set followed with explosive style and energy and amazing stage presence. Every song made great use of the numerous firework launchers around the stage and an EDM-style laser shows added to their killer performance. Shinedown’s lead singer Brent Smith was incredible at interacting with the crowd and kept the entire amphitheater fully hyped. He performed two songs from the back lawn of the amphitheater, and even took the time in the middle of the first song to shake my hand in the pit.

Godsmack.

Godsmack.

Godsmack’s set was absolutely solid. Moving stage sets and a combination of fireworks and other pyrotechnics really made their show stand out. Their lead singer Sully Erna had comical interactions with the crowd between songs, keeping people smiling. Toward the end of the set, Godsmack played a full instrumental song with two full drums kits, the second one being played by Sully, and both drummers exchanged solos and showed off their technical skills to the delight of us all.

Overall, it was an absolutely amazing show and I would not hesitate to see any of these bands again. You can still catch Godsmack and Shinedown on their North American tour until October 13th. They then jump the pond and play Europe starting October 30th. Keep up with these tours here.

See the full concert gallery from this show here.

-Ryan

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.

Umphrey's McGee Crushed Their Recent Stint of Red Rocks Shows on 'It's You' Tour

By: Will Baumgartner

When you hear the phrase “rock music,” what do you think of? Not one specific thing, probably, unless you’ve only listened to a handful of “rock” bands who all sound the same. There’s a reason for this, and it’s simple: Of all the musical genres, rock is the only one broad enough to incorporate elements of many of the others. If you say “jazz” or “hip-hop "grindcore,” and I’d argue you’re more likely to hear a more blueprinted sound in your head. Rock, however, conjures a field as wide as the sky above at, oh, say, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater in Morrison CO, on a beautiful clear night in early July.

Umphrey's McGee at the Rocks. Photo Credit:   Cy Fontenot

Umphrey's McGee at the Rocks. Photo Credit: Cy Fontenot

Recently, I attended a concert by masters of cross-wired rock Umphrey’s McGee during their three-night residency at Red Rocks last weekend. While I was admittedly not steeped in their music, I’d heard enough UM that I was sure I’d like to see them live and I’d heard their shows were electrifying examples of tightness, groove, and onstage inventiveness. And also, there was nowhere else I could imagine being happier on my birthday than at Red Rocks absorbing a legendary live band for the first time.

I had not been misinformed on the rumors of UM live, and my intuition was also spot on: Umphrey’s McGee transported me along with thousands of other blissed-out music lovers, to a kind of rock heaven. I just couldn’t believe how good they were. Sure, people can tell you about a band and their shows ad infinitum; you can even watch full-concert videos. But none of that fully prepared me for the actual experience.

Photo Credit:   Cy Fontenot

Photo Credit: Cy Fontenot

When attempting to describe the show to friends and fellow musicians, I found myself grasping for words beyond ones like “tight” and “inventive,” because they just didn’t seem emphatic or expansive enough. Live, Umphrey’s are tighter than the gear works of a Swiss watch. Their group improvisations are as seamless, creative, and mind-blowing as an MC Escher print. And often, they went even further to where, in keeping with their cross-genre style, it was like being in a sonic world co-created by Escher and cosmic visionary artist Alex Grey, with a score co-composed by the love children of Miles DavisJerry GarciaBootsy Collins, and… uh, I guess a bunch of prog rockers from bands like Yes, and… oh, I give up! Frank Zappa once said something like writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Of course he was right in this observation, and in no case more aptly so than here.

If you haven’t seen UM live yet, you should, and if it’s been a while since your last time, you should go again. If these words are unworthy of their subject in any other respect, if they can get more people to share the Umphrey’s experience, I’ll feel that I’ve done the world some good. Though I can’t count myself as an old fan who knows all their songs, a lot of the material in their two-set show the night I saw them wasn’t stuff I could sing along with, with the exception of their cover of DJ Zebra’s Beatles/Nine Inch Nails mashup “Come Closer.” I didn’t sing along, but that was only because I was too busy digging how they did it.

Another notable aspect of this night’s many-faceted performance was the way these guys could layer and build, and then strip down and rebuild to yet another and even higher climax, to the point where it was hard to tell if they’d gone into a new song, or just taken the one they were doing to some dizzying new height. At one point, I realized that everyone but the two guitarists had stopped, and that was it: no bass, no drums, no percussionist or keys, just these two guitars dancing on a beautiful bridge of sonic sculpture. It was so dense and at the same time, so pointedly connected like a constellation viewed in striking detail. I just kept slowly shaking my head, trying to wrap around the fact that all this was coming from just two guitars. So I thought, “Oh yeah, effects. Effects, pedals.” But when once again, I looked closely, I saw that most of what was going on was coming from just those four hands, sixteen spidery fingers weaving their web.

While a large chunk of the concert not surprisingly came from their January 2018 release It’s Not Us (though the tour is named after the just-released companion It’s You), the band drew widely from their entire 21-year history and, in classic genre-hopping style, kept it all well mixed. They moved from their crunchiest prog-rock burners into the occasional bits of country-folkish type material, and some of their simpler funk-driven dance numbers, which gave guitarist/vocalist Brendan Bayliss ample opportunity to employ his rather cutely effective falsetto. And for sing-along songs, I’d be hard pressed to find one more irresistible than their cover of George Michael’s “Freedom.” The members of Umphrey’s may not spend a lot of time and effort on showmanship- they barely said anything at all between songs, preferring to let the music speak for itself- but there was much more going on at Red Rocks than just dazzling musical wizardry. This is clearly a feel-good band, just one that doesn’t encourage shutting down your brain while your feet are moving.

Photo Credit:   Cy Fontenot

Photo Credit: Cy Fontenot

Still, while acknowledging the good-time aspect of their shows, I don’t want to underemphasize this band’s outrageous skill on their instruments. Wikipedia’s UM page makes an important point about the group, and it was what I felt most defined the concert I experienced it. While Umphrey’s may be commonly grouped in with “jam bands” because of their varying setlists, improvisation, and encouraging taping of their shows, their overall sound owes much more to progressive rock artists like King Crimson, early Genesis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and the aforementioned Yes and Frank Zappa. I was also reminded of one of the first bands to advance the “jam band” prototype, The Allman Brothers, in the sheer and near-delirious power they cooked up as they brought their jams to full boil. And you just can’t do this without being overtly adept, not only at your own individual instruments, but also at the skillful interweaving of those talents combined with a highly developed sense of composition and dynamics. Guitarists Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, bassist Ryan Stasik, keyboardist/vocalist Joel Cummins, drummer/vocalist Kris Myers, and percussionist Andy Farag all displayed these musical attributes in spades.

I could go on but, okay, I think I’ve done enough dancing about Umphrey’s McGee’s splendid architecture for one article. Let’s just finish by repeating an earlier sentiment: whether you’re looking for virtuosity or just a very good time, get yourself to one of the shows on this tour, get on down to your local record store and pick up It’s Not Us and It’s You and then… well, just relax and enjoy. Umphrey’s will do the heavy lifting from there.

-Will

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 Underground Music Showcase Hosting Pop-Up with Free Beer & Discounted Festival Passes This Weekend (07/13)

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Denver’s Underground Music Showcase is throwing a pop-up event this week in celebration of the upcoming festival. This Friday, July 13th at Black Buzzard, UMS bands Oxeye Daisy, in/Planes, and Tyto Alba will be rocking out to get you excited for the upcoming fest. The UMS is giving the first 100 people through the door a free Oskar Blues draft beer, which means you can choose a Dale’s Pale Ale, Pinner IPA, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Old Chub and G’Knight on the house!

We’ve already laid out for you several reasons why we’re so excited for this year’s UMS but if you missed that, check out The Underground, the multiple outdoor stages, and the festival’s plans for comedy, art, and more to be a part of this year’s weekend.

Festie time is just a couple of weeks away, July 27th-29th, and at the pop-up show this week, you can snag UMS tickets at discounted pricing with NO service fees. Get your party on this Friday the 13th by RSVPing to this UMS pop-up show here! RSVP is required for entry.

See you at the Buzzard soon!

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.


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.

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.