Color Red Studios Releases Dragondeer's Latest Digital 45 Record

By: Mirna Tufekcic

Denver’s own Southern-funk disco-blues band Dragondeer dropped a digital 45 earlier this month with two tracks featuring bassist Jeff Franca from Thievery Corporation and guitarist Jordan Lint from Analog Son. The band dove into deep sonic territories during their Color Red Studios session. Color Red is a Denver-based record label and music hub for local and visiting artists to collaborate and create music together. Self-proclaimed to be “more than just a record label, Color Red is; a music scene, a curated artist group, a media outlet, a studio, a genre-fluid music platform, a global launch pad of ideas.”

From the Color Red sessions, Dragondeer’s two new tracks are a true testament to the above statement. “Mirage Á Trois” has a cool-cat sexy vibe that grooves, but listen closer and you’ll hear it’s really talking about the delusional traps one’s own mind can create, you know, the me, myself, and I kind of mind tricks that suck you in and leave you wandering in an illusion. “Max Patch,” a more upbeat, carefree funk groove, is a jam session among the bandmates during their stay at a mountain cabin on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. Equal parts soul and rock’n’roll, the lyrics speak to the easy vibes of sipping on moonshine and jamming with family and friends while fluffy white clouds pass above a Smoky Mountains cabin. The boys sure did paint quite the scene and ambiance with these two tracks.

Dragondeer has played with the likes of Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Shakey Graves, and Drive By Truckers; they’ve been at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival; and now the band is hitting the road for a summer tour. They will be making appearances at the Firefly Music Festival and Electric Forest (with The String Cheese Incident). Click here for Dragondeer’s full tour dates.

-Mirna

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

Fans Braved the Cold for Last Weekend's "Rezz Rocks" and It Was Worth Every Minute

By: Franz Hilberath

Is Rezz the most iconic woman in electronic music today?

It would’ve been hard to argue otherwise standing in a half-rain, half-snow flurry drizzle at Red Rocks Amphitheater late Saturday night, where Rezz had just finished up her sold-out, headlining debut at Colorado’s most historic venue.

Rezz Rocks” had been a notable date on the ever-exciting Red Rocks concert lineup since it was announced earlier this year, hype that would only grow with her exceptional 2018 career.

“Rezz Rocks.” Photo Credit: Jason Siegel

“Rezz Rocks.” Photo Credit: Jason Siegel

In September, she released her sophomore album Certain Kind of Magic, hitting her highest charting position to date at #12. On the global festival circuit, she’s made waves headlining main stages at events like Electric Forest, Lost Lands, and most-recently ACL Festival in Austin, TX.

Her well-reputed ability to create event-catered experiences for crowds in addition to the spell-binding nature of her music has made her one of the more clamored for electronic acts worldwide, and more often than not her billing demands a primetime night set wherever she goes. This reputation for creating an experience each time out boded well for her largest show to date, and her first headlining gig at Red Rocks Amphitheater, a venue noted for making concerts like these special.

On Saturday, the concert doors opened up to fans at 4:30PM, an earlier start time enacted due to fears of light rain and snow coming over the mountains later on in the night. “Rezz Rocks” featured a slew of enticing openers in Fytch, Charlesthefirst, Digital Ethos and Bleep Bloop, but the main lead up spot was reserved for LA-based DJ/producer Tokimonsta. The fellow lady — real name Jennifer Lee — took the stage later in the night, playing some of her lighter tunes and remixes before following suit with a bass-heavy themed set. As that set neared its end, the sun had all but abandoned the park as the cooler weather and breeze began to set in, with temperatures diving down into the 30s.

At 8:30PM, as if on cue with total darkness, Rezz made her way to the stage, booting on her patented-LED goggles as both the music and visuals for “Life and Death” began to play. Within minutes the 10,000-plus in attendance found themselves entranced in one of electronic music’s more captivating shows.

With an hour and a half set time, the Canadian producer dished out all the tools in her arsenal, debuting new tracks, visuals and stellar remixes. During a slowed-down version of Liquid Stranger’s “Creature,” a giant eyeball with tentacles sprang to life on screen, while other tracks like “H E X” and “Teleportal” utilized geometric shapes and patterns on the LED-board to help bring the music to life. On a night that dipped below freezing, Rezz seemed mostly unbothered while only sporting a hoodie, regularly dancing or swaying along with the slow-bass drops.

Rezz. Photo Credit: Jason Siegel

Rezz. Photo Credit: Jason Siegel

Around 10PM the weather began to make a turn for the worse, as the temperature continued to drop and the winds spiked, sending droplets of rain dancing above the crowd. It was here the night began to come to a close, as Rezz met the crowd at the lip of the stage to acknowledge both their energy and the cold.

“Thanks for sticking with me in the cool,” she gleamed while looking out at the sold-out amp crowd, struggling to form her trademark third-eye hand gesture. “I can barely feel my hands.”

To the delight of everyone, Rezz dropped back in for one more song, asking fans to “put all [their] energy into” a high-powered, unreleased, unnamed track that we can't wait to hear on record.

In a world where we’re constantly working towards a climate where women are celebrated for their uniqueness and individuality, Rezz serves as an early champion. On what she claimed to be “the best night of her life,” Rezz proved that she is well ahead of her peers, and at only 23, she’s just getting started. She hasn’t achieved this level of status or fame by following others. Instead her rise has fed off the energy she puts out there for fans, grown by her humbled dedication in being the best version of herself regardless of what others would say.

If that isn’t iconic, what is?

-Franz

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

Westword Music Showcase 2017 Had Denver's Golden Triangle Dancing In The Streets

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Last Saturday, Westword Music Showcase returned to Denver’s Golden Triangle for its 23rd year of festing. From local bands to the evening’s headliners, the entire day brought together the Denver community for great performances and enough Coors Light to quench the thirst of musicians and audience members alike.

The Revivalists at Westword Music Showcase.

The Revivalists at Westword Music Showcase.

The festival took place both on the designated event grounds where attendees flocked to the Coors Light & Mike’s Hard stages, and in surrounding bars and venues, where a majority of the local bands played. Headliners this year included Shakey Graves, The Revivalists, and Cut Copy. The main festival area hosted lounge seating by VIE Vaporizers, booze tents sponsored by Coors, Mike’s Hard, Milagro Tequila, and Reyka Vodka, and even a Mary Jane-friendly bus advertising Denver pot-stop tours.  

Edison.

Edison.

We started the day bouncing between some of the festival’s venue spots after catching Denver darlings Edison on the main stage. The usual trio played as a four-piece for the day, and put on a great set with Sarah Slaton’s strong storytelling and plenty of good Americana vibes. We caught Bison Bone getting everyone grooving over at #VYBE, and later caught Kissing Party there handing out tambourines to the crowd and getting everyone to tap along to their catchy pop tunes.

Television Generation rocked out over at Stoney’s Main, with quite a crowd for an earlier-in-the-day set. They’re definitely an indie rock band to catch live and keep your eye (and ears) on. The Lollygags were playing simultaneously at Stoney’s South, where their classic rock sounds had the audience dancing.

YaSi, who played with both a DJ and drummer behind her over at City Hall Amphitheatre, was one of our favorite sets of the day. She commanded attention with her strong vocals, and kept it by getting fans to groove right along with her. Big J. Beats later took the stage, looping guitars in with his beats after announcing, “This is actually the first time I’m doing all of this live.” Well done Big J. 

We rolled back to the main festival area during COIN, who brought an indie-pop flare to what was a pretty perfect 70-degree summer day. Shortly after, we jumped over to Bob Moses at Mike’s Hard Stage. The New York electronica duo actually played as a trio with a drummer for this show. They were fresh off their Electric Forest performance, and kept a crowd who was clearly there for them jumping around. 

The Revivalists. 

The Revivalists. 

The Revivalists, a New Orleans bred rock’n’roll seven-piece, packed the Coors Light stage next, and did just as their name implies, reviving and revamping the entire spirit of the day with what was an incredibly high-energy set. There wasn’t a soul in sight who wasn’t singing along with them on their recent radio hit “Wish I Knew You.” Frontman David Shaw jumped between the stage and the crowd throughout the band’s show, engaging everyone around him in the group’s stellar performance.  

Cut Copy.

Cut Copy.

Australia’s Cut Copy were next, and played their psych electric tunes just as the sun set, cruising festival-goers into the early evening over tasty electro vibes.  

Shakey Graves.

Shakey Graves.

Which brings us to the last set of what was ultimately a great day of shows: Shakey Graves. Though originally from Austin, TX, Shakey Graves has spent a fair part of his life in Colorado, even remarking during his performance how the band’s recent hit “Dearly Departed” (which features Esmé Patterson) was actually written in Boulder, CO prior to a Fox Theatre performance. He delivered a boot-stomping Americana set to close out the night for what was by far the largest crowd of the day, and his smiling and dancing soon caught on with the crowd, who were swaying and forming dance circles as he played.  

What magic will next year’s Westword Music Showcase hold? It’s safe to say we already can’t wait to find out after their successful 2017 festival. Check out our full photo gallery of the event here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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.

Evanoff's "Dream Rock" Is EDM + Rock & So Much More

By: Annie Kane

Let me introduce you to “dream rock,” a new genre that the Boulder-born trio, Evanoff, are carving out on their own. What originally started as JJ Evanoff’s solo guitar vision has since grown into the musical experience it is today, with the inclusion of Jake Hall on drums and Parker Oberholzer on bass and synth.

Their most recent release, “Aesthetic Arrest,” showcases the growth this band has experienced since their inception. The song begins steadily, with a series of funky bass guitar notes that evolve into an electronic explosion which bursts and is then broken back down to instrumentals, with more bass, guitar, drums, and some subtle synth. The song then takes flight again, bringing the listener into this ethereal musical collision of sounds, thus earning the “dream rock” titled genre Evanoff have so carefully ascribed to themselves.

Evanoff.

Evanoff.

The constant thread of the guitar not only grounds “Aesthetic Arrest,” but revives an older genre for the contemporary audience, because rock music should and never will die. The song finishes gloriously in a simultaneous electronic and guitar riff buildup, symbolically uniting these once disparate musical genres into a quite beautiful marriage. Evanoff, Oberholzer, and Hall’s skilled abilities in each of their crafts is highlighted strongly throughout the song, and these talents are what set Evanoff up for unparalleled success.

Stream “Aesthetic Arrest” on Spotify:

Evanoff’s presence in the Colorado music scene is hard to ignore, as they have already conquered prominent and beloved venues such as The Fox Theatre, Larimer Lounge, and Cervantes’. They have also brought their undeniably unique sound to huge festivals including Vertex, Euphoria, and Electric Forest. Now, they’re set to tour throughout Colorado and beyond, spreading their infectious new dance music. Whether you’re a Coloradan who has somehow still not caught these guys live, or if you’ve been waiting patiently for them to roll through your city, now is your time to rejoice. Peep Evanoff’s tour poster and get ready to dance your face off.

-Annie

Follow Annie on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Electric Forest Announces Additional Headliners

Electric Forest, one of the nation's most vibey festivals, just announced additional headliners Dillon Francis and Flume this week. The two join an already stacked list for the seventh annual camping and music festival in Rothbury, Michigan. This year, the event actually has two weekends planned for your magical foresting experience: June 22–June 25 and June 29–July 2.

Previous lineup announcement for EF include: The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Big Gigantic, Claude VonStroke, 12th Planet, Jai Wolf, Lettuce, The Floozies, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Waka Flocka Flame.

All of these artists will perform both weekends, many of them promising unique shows so that no two experiences are alike. Fans can expect to hear some of the acts unplugged, with unusual collaborations and sit-ins, performing special themed sets, and more.

View the complete list of announced artists set to perform the First Weekend and Second Weekend of EF here.

Tickets for Electric Forest 2017 are on sale now at www.electricforestfestival.com/tickets.

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

Opening Day at Vertex Music Festival

By: Sierra Voss

The first day at Vertex had cars lined up as festival-goers excitedly filled into the camping grounds. It was definitely a get-to-know-your-neighbor situation, as tents were lined up directly behind each personal car. It wasn’t long before the field rapidly became a tent city. Flags were raised, and pool floaties were blown up and mounted on top of cars. Humans started to play lawn games in any space left untouched, as we patiently waited for the first bands to take the stage.

Big Wild.

Big Wild.

Which brings me to the lay of the land. There are three main stages on the festival grounds, and when you first enter the Vertex gates, you stumble upon a pretty heady little world. There is a cottage simply filled with balloons, a shed were women offer to wash your clothes for you with washboards (random and weird), and a nap tent. It all feels somewhat reminiscent of Electric Forest.

Fruition.

Fruition.

When it comes to the music, the band Fruition took the first big main stage around 2PM. The vibe was pretty mellow during their set, and remained so until later in the night as festival-goers slowly trickled in and explored the grounds. Things really started to pick up when Anderson Paak took the Cottonwood Parlor main stage. He put on an awesomely energetic show, hopping down to dance on the monitors and bouncing all around the stage. Paak rocks a pretty sweet septum piercing and has a smile that will make yah weak in the knees. He ended his performance rippin’ it behind his drum set.  

You definitely have to remain flexible and open to different vibes at this festival. The musical lineup for the weekend is incredibly diverse, and jumps from hip hop to bluegrass to EDM, all within the span of a day. Right after Anderson Paak, the band Dawes took the stage. Dawes was a 100% different musical vibe than Paak, but they laid down an equally impressive set.

My personal favorite shows of the night were Alabama Shakes, Jai Wolf, and Gramatik. Each artist crushed it, but Alabama Shakes really slayed. Lead singer Brittany Howard ripped out some powerful notes that filled my entire body with soul. It was beyond epic watching her belt out tune after tune.

Alabama Shakes.

Alabama Shakes.

It was an impressive first day for the start of Vertex Music Festival. I am now sitting here bright and early on day two, watching festi-goers yoga it up. And yes I said watching, not participating. It’s gonna be another rad day of music. Round two let’s go…

-Sierra

All photos per the author for BolderBeat. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.