Wrap Your Ears In Our 'A Very Indie Holiday' Playlist

Spend your holiday season with your ears wrapped in our newest playlist! “A Very Indie Holiday” by tastemaker Sierra Voss has tunes by artists like The Shins, Fruit Bats, Vulfpeck, LCD Soundsystem, Blitzen Trapper, The Lumineers, Cat Power, and of course, Christmas-loving Sufjan Stevens.

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to check out our many playlists, and if you’re an artist looking to submit your song for playlist consideration, roll to our Contact page and do it!

Happy Holidays music lovers.

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

Motion Trap Release Alluring Single + Video In Anticipation Of Their Forthcoming Record 'Heavenly Bodies'

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s Motion Trap have been referred to as “Tycho with dance moves” and “Mogwai on crack.” The nu-dicso duo, comprised of Kyle Williams and Nathan Rogers, formed back in 2012 and have been making ears everywhere drip in thick synth dance hooks ever since. This September, Motion Trap are releasing their newest record, ‘Heavenly Bodies.’ The indie electro dance album mashes guitar tones with synth, distorted vocals, and all things digital into something impossible not to groove to. It's mysterious, alluring, and dancey as hell. Recently, Motion Trap released their single from the record, “Youth Blood,” and the track’s accompanying music video. It caught our eardrums, so we chatted with the band to learn more about this glow-in-the-dark two-piece and their newest vid. Read on:

What is the story behind the video for “Youth Blood?”

Recently we have been writing more upbeat songs, like our first single 'Molecule,' but with 'Youth Blood' we decided to showcase a darker side to our songwriting. I have heard people describe this sound as being ‘a more sexy Motion Trap.’ It has a deeper feel, and a possibly deeper meaning, one that is open to interpretation, but also means something to us. We love double meanings in our songs and this one has the internal dialogue of a person struggling with a feeling and trying to cope or figure it out in that moment.

Watch Motion Trap's music video for "Youth Blood": 

Who filmed the video?

Jeremy Pape shot it and Shaun Burder edited and directed it. They are both from Collective Culture out of Denver and do an amazing job. We also had the opportunity to work with some great actors, JoJo Lupe and Rob Ferrell.

Motion Trap. Photo Credit:   Blake Jackson

Motion Trap. Photo Credit: Blake Jackson

Where did you record the single?

We always record all of our songs in our home studio and when they get to a spot we call 'almost finished,' we sit in without our engineer Rocky Tran at Conway Sound to put some final love on the tracks before sending them to be mastered.

Of all the tunes on upcoming Heavenly Bodies, why’d you choose to release “Youth Blood” to us as one of the first?

I would say because it is so different than most of our music. We love the deeper feel this song has. That is why we chose this- to showcase a different side of our songwriting capabilities. Also the dark tone of this song felt like it lent really well with our black light theme. We had a great time experimenting with different lighting and painting techniques with this video.

Kyle Williams. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

Kyle Williams. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Cool! What’s up next for Motion Trap?

We have our CD Release Show at Larimer Lounge September 8th! The record will contain both singles, 'Molecule' and 'Youth Blood,' as well as six other tracks. We are bringing a massive light show along that we are collaborating on with our good friend Nate Davis from Color Shadow Productions. We have some special things up our sleeves for this show and can't wait to release the new album!

Make sure to catch Motion Trap at Larimer Lounge on Friday, September 8th with Get Along and Time Scale for their release show! Tickets here; keep up with Motion Trap and their new record ‘Heavenly Bodies’ by peeping their website.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah 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.

The 2017 Underground Music Showcase Brought Together Artists & Fans For Four Days Of Awesome

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Denver’s annual four day music festival The Underground Music Showcase rocked South Broadway last weekend. We crawled the strip, ate nothing but pizza, and almost refused to sleep in the name of good music. Here are some of our favorite things about this year’s festival:

The Bands

Of course we went to as many shows as possible and of course most of them really rocked our socks off. But here we’re going to be shameless and first tell you about the killer acts who played our packed official day party.

Xavier Provencher & Sean Culliton of Retrofette.

Xavier Provencher & Sean Culliton of Retrofette.

BolderBeat & KGNU combined forces this year to bring you Brunch with a Beat at The UMS, which was five hours of sugar and synth by some of Colorado’s most promising electro acts.

Greg Laut of Whiskey Autumn.

Greg Laut of Whiskey Autumn.

Mirror Fears kicked things off with her industrial goth pop, Church Fire kept things movin’ with their Crystal Castles-esque electronic primal therapy, and DéCollage wrapped the front of The Irish Rover in Mylar and swept the stage with their avant-garde pop. Retrofette’s synth stylings followed, and created a massive dance party full of hip-shaking & flash tattoos. Whiskey Autumn’s indie synth pop closed the show; their unreleased track "Birds That Flew" had many whistling along to its chorus. And in between sets, DJ Erin Stereo crushed sweet beats. We gave away tickets to upcoming Future Islands and Thundercat shows, and we passed out donut lollipops, which many showgoers expressed they hoped were laced with weed (they were not kidz).

As for the rest of our UMS:

Anthony Ruptak.

Anthony Ruptak.

Our first official set at UMS 2017 was at Hi-Dive on Thursday with Anthony Ruptak, who started us off with amazing tunes from his new record Don’t Let It Kill You, and even streamed a Facebook live anti-Trump vid from the stage. Punk rock.

Ishka Phoenix of Ghost Tapes.

Ishka Phoenix of Ghost Tapes.

Ghost Tapes were a funky, neo-soul standout at Skylark; frontwoman Ishka Phoenix had the crowd melting as she delivered tasty R&B sounds from her ice cream microphone.

Ben Pisano of Corsicana.

Ben Pisano of Corsicana.

Corsicana gave us tasty indie tunes while we nommed hard on an Illegal Pete’s burrito, which was the only non-pizza item we allowed ourselves for sustenance. The four-piece are playing a couple of big Colorado shows with Hippo Campus this month, so make sure to roll to those.

Chris Scott & Chris Kimmel of OptycNerd.

Chris Scott & Chris Kimmel of OptycNerd.

OptycNerd describe themselves as “eclectro indie pop hop sexy time,” and well, we wish we’d written that ourselves. Their sexy time at Hi-Dive was enjoyed.

Zola Jesus.

Zola Jesus.

Zola Jesus brought her dark, operatic vocals to the main stage; Red Fang spouted the classic rock stoner jams they’re known for to a headbanging crowd.

What is cooler than wearing glow-in-the-dark face paint? Glow-in-the-dark guitar strings- DUH. Motion Trap had ‘em at their Rover set on Saturday, and they played their electro sonic disco tunes to a packed house that boogied with them from start to finish.

Mic Carroll of All Chiefs.

Mic Carroll of All Chiefs.

All Chiefs kept us out of the rain at Hi-Dive with their indie rock vibes, Evan Holm & The Restless Ones kicked up some folky soul at Gary Lee’s Motorcycle Club, and GALLERIES played a heartfelt tribute show celebrating the life of late Denver music prodigy Kyle McQueen.

The Outfit.

The Outfit.

Rock’n’roll’s The Outfit played their final set ever at 3 Kings Tavern on Friday to a mosh-ready, beer-heavy crowd who were clearly sad to see them go.

Rebecca Williams of The Savage Blush.

Rebecca Williams of The Savage Blush.

The Savage Blush had a killer psych rock-dripping set at the main stage, Slowcaves brought us chill wave surf rock sounds, and Dragondeer managed to blues rock us almost straight through a downpour, though they had to cut their set a bit short when the rain just about flash-flooded the festival parking lot in true Colorado fashion.

Esmé Patterson.

Esmé Patterson.

Brent Cowles revived a soaking crowd with “Cold Times” when the sun came back out, Esmé Patterson slayed her evening dream rock set with unreleased music and a touching tribute with Kitty Crimes to the late Tyler Despres, and Benjamin Booker crowd surfed his way right into Colorado’s heart, closing out the main stage of the festival Sunday evening.

The Booze

Dewar's Whiskey Emporium.

Dewar's Whiskey Emporium.

Breckenridge Brewing was a main sponsor for The UMS this year and we sipped many an Avalanche by the main stage throughout the fest. Dewar’s had what felt like a tiny house made for drinking with free smells and scotch eggs. It was delicious and why you would have wasted your tongue on any other mixed drink in the hot sun and the pouring rain is beyond us.

The Bunny

Yeah. This one.

Yeah. This one.

Mixed Up Gifts’ pop up shop on South Broadway had some sweet merch for sale from Sacred Bones Records and a creepy night light if you’re in the market to wake up afraid of the dark only to find Jason lurking in your bathroom. But best of all was their bunny, who tried to coerce festival-goers into the shop while eerily reading children’s books through the window.

The Budz

No, not that kind you typical Denverite. Overall, we had a rad time at The UMS this year, and we highly encourage you to check out all the bands we mentioned, all the acts we live-interviewed with Zach Dahmen, and any of the performers on the local lineup in general. Because if there’s one thing we came away with after four days of music-hopping insanity, it was with community- from the performers themselves, to the UMS staff and volunteers, to the eager ticket holders bouncing from show to show hoping to find their next favorite band- Denver came out to support its own. Whether we were playing beach volleyball in the artist tent during a downpour or running from the main stage with our best budz to get back to Broadway for a set (those smarter ones took the Meow Wolf bus), this weekend really showcased you- the local music supporter. And for that, we and apparently Governor Hickenlooper, thank you.

Check out our full photo gallery from The UMS 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.
 

Review: Whiskey Autumn's 'Ice Cream In The Sun' Is Tasty Electropop With R&B Vibes

By: Trevor Ryan

These days, the electronic-leaning movement in music is strong. And although the growing brand definitely holds the current popular vote, it can be challenging to make a true mark worth hearing. But that is exactly where Colorado’s Whiskey Autumn shine through. The project, founded by multi-instrumentalist Greg Laut, is a fluid blend of pop/soul, incredibly catchy synth work, smooth euphonic vocals, and a lyrical witticism that originally found its voice with their EP 2014 EP Into Something New. Though the band has made a turn from Americana to electropop with their latest EP, Ice Cream In The Sun, they’ve managed to keep their music warm and inviting while introducing R&B hooks with synth sounds and soul.

Whiskey Autumn.

Whiskey Autumn.

There’s a futuristic sound blended with their early soul-feel too- you'll hear what I mean in the opening track “Dog Days.” And the song following, “Human Frailty,” brings back the tempo with a slightly more mellow-groove-type R&B vibe, but not enough to really make you question it. This pattern seems to weave throughout the rest of the EP, along with a pretty upbeat energy and catchy storytelling. My favorite track is the closer, “Postcard From Tokyo.” It blends interesting sounds with harmonies that will make you float off into space, or at least I know I did...

Listen to Ice Cream In The Sun:

My only criticism: I would love to see WA experiment with bringing out their percussion even further, with more of a build from time to time. The instrumentals here are very tight though, making this trio refreshing to listen to (Matty Schelling is on drums, Jason Paton is on bass). They seem to have their sound really pined with this record, and I for one am excited to see how they grow with it.

The band has described Ice Cream In The Sun, as their “most confident release yet,” and it’s easy to see why. Giving us a taste of a their new brand of electronic influence with classic R&B nodes, along with that touch of soul ultimately forces our mouths (and ears) to water in the hopes that we may have more from the “Coney Island” crooners sooner rather than later.

Schelling, Laut, & Paton.

Schelling, Laut, & Paton.

Whiskey Autumn play The Fox Theatre Friday, May 26th and have discount tickets available. Contact them on their Facebook for free ticket delivery from the crew (they’ve got $12 presale tickets for you), and follow them on Instagram and Twitter for other updates. The rest of their summer tour schedule throughout Colorado and the Midwest and Southwest can be viewed here.

-Trevor

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

Premiere: This Broken Beat's "Sleep" Showcases Denver Eerie Electropop

By: Norman Hittle

Denver based indie-pop duo This Broken Beat are all about exposing the fine line between living safe and taking risks. The band has said all of us in life “will inevitably get caught up in ideas of irrelevance years down the road, and make mistakes out of in-the-moment emotions, but it's all to illuminate the beauty of choice and free will.” Little more exemplifies their creed than their latest video for their single “Sleep”:

The video was filmed and edited by Justin Urban of UrbanImpression, and the song was recorded with Tyler Glasgow and Jack Roberts of Streetlight Audio.

Regarding the video, This Broken Beat told BolderBeat: “We really fell in love with the eerie, dark aspect of the song, so we wanted the video to also paint that picture. A good portion of our music is major and upbeat, so it was cool to dive into something different. We were hoping for a foggy day for many of the nature shots and fortunately we got one right when we needed it. There are subtle stories throughout the video alluding to the big picture story, which the last scene gives away, so watching it in full-length is crucial if you're wanting to understand the production as a whole. Some days, staying in your bed with your dreams sounds much easier than going out to face life's challenges, and we wanted to capture that emotion."

This Broken Beat.

This Broken Beat.

The duo, which consists of Julio on guitars/vocals and Annie on drums, have been playing together since 2013. “Sleep” is their third release after 2016’s Sweat & Blood single and their 2016 self-titled EP. With a sound that’s reminiscent of Ed Sheeran and perhaps Maroon 5 circa Songs About Jane (with some added electropop flair), This Broken Beat bring a beautiful and full-depth soundscape to the Denver scene with “Sleep.” The song is very well-produced and tight, and you can tell these guys went to great lengths to write and record a quality project.

Make sure to check out “Sleep” for yourself above, and keep up with This Broken Beat’s upcoming shows here.

-Norman

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

Get Lost In of Montreal's 'Innocence' This Monday at Denver's Bluebird Theater

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Experimental electronic pop rock outfit of Montreal are hitting The Bluebird stage this Monday, October 17th. Kevin Barnes, who originally formed the band in 1996, has transformed the group over time from indie pop to funky glam rock to its current electronic sound. The band, whose lineup includes Barnes (vocals/multiple instruments), Clayton Rychlik (drums/keys/guitar/bass), Jojo Glidewell (keys), Davey Pierce (bass), and Nicolas Dobbratz (keys/percussion/bass/guitar), just released their latest record Innocence Reaches in August 2016. It’s full of electronic and prog rock vibes, and is the band’s fourteenth release over the span of their prolific career.

Watch of Montreal’s newest music video for their song “it’s different for girls”:

Barnes, an original Elephant 6er member, has been know for the dynamicness of his live shows since the band’s inception. Incorporating colorful visual elements, vibrant costuming, and energetic theatrics throughout of Montreal’s sets, Monday’s show at The ‘Bird is sure to tickle all of your senses.

Tickets are still available for only $20 in advance and can be purchased here. Doors are at 8PM, and we’ll be there snapping pics and dancing away the Monday blues with Barnes & Co. Come get down with us!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah 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.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 08/26, 08/27, & 08/28

By: Hannah Oreskovich

TGIF yo. Here’s The Six:

Today (Friday 08/26):

RiNo Music Festival at RiNo Neighborhood in Denver 430PM-Close

rino-music-festival-tickets_08-26-16_17_576c681a99475.jpg

Channel 93.3, Westword, and Twist and Shout are throwing a festival bash for you today in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, and it’s just in time for happy hour. The music lineup includes Silversun Pickups, St. Lucia, 888, Bishop Briggs, and A Silent Film. Tickets are $40 for the whole shebang, and you can nab ‘em here. Festi while you can, folks.

Watch 888’s official music video for their song “Critical Mistakes”:

Local Songwriter Showcase at Club 156 in Boulder 7PM-9PM

unnamed.jpg

CU’s Program Council is putting on a cool event tonight at Club 156 that features several local talented singer/songwriters, including Cameron Bailey, Jobi, Jarocki, Ethan Cohen, Nate Harvey, and Sophie Kloor. The event is free and open to the public, so whether you’re new to CU and wanting to learn more about the music scene, or a longtime Boulder resident wanting to check out some new tunes, get to this show! 

Listen to Sophie Kloor’s demo for her song “Losing Myself”:

Kutandara Kombi at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 8PM-Close

Kombi2-1024x683.jpg

Boulder’s Kutandara is a world music group, fusing “African music traditions with indie-pop, rock, jazz, gospel, [and] classical” sounds. And tonight, they’ve got a gig at Boulder’s LG that is sure to make your spirits dance. Kutandara are well known for their eclectic sets, playing every show with the intent of “exchanging energy of music and movement with our audiences”. Sounds like a rad time- and it’s free! Head on down.

Sample some Kutandara tracks here.

Tomorrow (Saturday 08/27):

Eros and the Eschaton Album Release Show at Larimer Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close

Colorado Springs’ Eros and the Eschaton dropped their sophomore album Weight of Matter recently, and we have been diggin’ on it. Major. Read more about it in our review of the album, and celebrate with the band tomorrow at their Larimer show. Denver’s I Sank Molly Brown and Maybe Baby & The Bitch Boys are joining the party, and OpenAir CPR is putting on the show. Tickets are only $10 in advance. Get ‘em now, and while you’re at it, get Weight of Matter. Your ears will thank you.

Listen to Eros and the Eschaton’s single “Rxx”:

Mayhem Gulch at Conor O’Neill’s in Boulder 10PM-Close

IMG_69451.jpg

If you’re looking for a solid bluegrass show for the weekend, look no further Colorado! Boulder’s own bluegrass/newgrass five-piece Mayhem Gulch will be strummin’ at Conor’s tomorrow night. The group describe themselves as “a whiskey-fueled campfire jam”, which sounds pretty perfect for a summer Saturday. So get to it!

Listen to Mayhem Gulch’s “Run for the Hills”:

The Next Day (Sunday 08/28):

Magpie, Ethan Griggs + Sonder Ensemble, & Chloe Tang at Lost Lake Lounge in Denver 8PM-Close

magpie-ethan-griggs-sonder-ensemble-chloe-tang-20.jpeg

Back in March, we featured Denver’s soulful folk outfit Magpie. The “orchestral folk rock” project, led by Zach Dunn, is playing The Lost Lake this Sunday, headlining a bill that features Ethan Griggs + Sonder Ensemble and Chloe Tang. The show starts at 8PM and is only $8, so ease into the week with a good drink and the sweet sounds of these Denver acts. More info here.

Watch Magpie’s live performance video of their tune “Trembling”:

See you at a show CO! Xoxox

-Hannah

Follow Hannah 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.

The Weekend... Eight? Eight Shows To See 08/28 & 08/29, Boulder.

By: Hannah Oreskovich

It’s Friday once again and there is so much awesome music happening this weekend that we couldn’t pick just six. So here’s our weekend… eight? Peep it:

Today (Friday 08/28)

shafer.

shafer.

Danny Shafer at Pearl St. Pub 5PM-??

Danny’s doing a sweet double dose of shows the next two nights. Catch him at The Pub tonight or NedFest tomorrow. You can peep his music here. And don’t forget that Shafer’s CD Release Show (Paul Kimbiris is opening the event!) is less than a month away, and you can buy tickets here. You’ve got to make it to at least one of these Shafer performances. Seriously.

the booster boys. Photo Credit:   Hannah Oreskovich

the booster boys. Photo Credit: Hannah Oreskovich

Booster and Realtalk at The Lazy Dog 8PM-Close

We first fell for Booster here. These guys always bring a good time! Their funky jams will have you dancin’, and they told us Boulder-based Realtalk will be starting the party off right with some rockin’ tracks. We dig the LD’s stage setup, and their dancefloor was made for a show like this. Go groove.

emily and her kurzweil. PHOTO CREDIT:    HANNAH ORESKOVICH

emily and her kurzweil. PHOTO CREDIT: HANNAH ORESKOVICH

Emily Shreve CD Release Show at The Mercury Cafe 10PM-Close

We just brought you a feature on Shreve’s latest EP Bliss and Gravity last week. Check out her music here, but head to this show if you want to hear her latest. Her howling vocals and love for her Kurzweil will take you on a trippy dream that you’re not sure you want to wake up from. This show is the worth the drive, Boulder. Head down to the D.

wa jammin. PHOTO CREDIT:    HANNAH ORESKOVICH

wa jammin. PHOTO CREDIT: HANNAH ORESKOVICH

Whiskey Autumn at The No Name Bar 10pm-Close

This indie doo-wop rock trio has recently thrown some amazing R&B and hip-hop influences into their usual mix. If you haven’t seen WA drummer Matty Schelling break sticks on his Octapad, then you'd better roll up to the bar with no name tonight. Things will be bumpin’ behind the big brown door. PS: Rumor has it Jeff Vescuso (Natural Motives, The Almond Butters) will be opening this show. Leggo. 

Tomorrow (Saturday 08/29)

the foxfeather ladies. polaroid: becky guidera

the foxfeather ladies. polaroid: becky guidera

Foxfeather at Vindication Brewing 4PM-Close

The good thing about our list of Saturday shows is that you can hop from one to the next. Start at Vindication for a brew and Boulder’s folk outfit Foxfeather. Their upbeat tunes will get your night going. They’re playing shows all over Colorado this fall, so catch a Boulder gig while you still can.

Augustus' new ep. 

Augustus' new ep. 

Augustus CD Release Show at The Lazy Dog 8PM-Close

We recently reviewed Augustus’ EP Into Frames, and long story short, we liked what we heard. Tomorrow is their highly anticipated CD Release Show at the LD, and we can’t wait! Bloodbath live? Yes please. Andddd Paul Kimbiris is opening this CD release show as well. So excited.

the longest day of the year has another fox show soon.

the longest day of the year has another fox show soon.

The Longest Day of the Year at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub 10PM-Close

The Longest Day of the Year will be hosting a dance party of fun at Conor’s tomorrow. Get boozed, get yo dancin’ shoes, and go jump around with this Boulder-based Americana band. They’re opening a show at the Fox in less than a month, which you can get tickets to here. Check ‘em out.

NedFest

And finally, just a short drive away, NedFest is happening this weekend. Some of our favorites on the lineup include Gipsy Moon, Gasoline Lollipops, Danny Shafer, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, and Caribou Mountain Collective. You can peep the full lineup and schedule here. Head to the party.

So seriously Boulder: Get out this weekend and catch a show. With this many options, you have no choice but to have a rad, bumpin’ time. TGIF.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah 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.

CU’s Welcomefest Was a Massive Bash Booming with Bass, Lasers, and Infectious Energy

By: Hannah Oreskovich and Greg Laut

Welcome back Buffs.

Welcomefest.

Welcomefest.

The Buffs are back in town. And nothing proved that more than the electric energy buzzing around Farrand Field on Saturday night for CU’s Welcomefest. Put on by Program Council, Welcomefest is CU’s annual concert extravaganza for students. This year the lineup included headliner and dubstep DJ Seven Lions, NY-based Joywave, Denver’s Sunboy, and Boulder’s very own Innerspace. What started out as a few hundred people sitting in the field at 530PM turned into over 7000 students packed along the stage barriers dancing, jumping, and crowdsurfing to Seven Lions’ waves of bass.

Innerspace, a local alternative rock outfit, kicked things off while the sun was still high in the sky. They played some guitar-heavy, head-banging licks from their latest EP, Earthrise. The guys call themselves “space rock” and you can check out a ton of their songs here.

Sunboy. Sidenote: Their bassist wins for "Best Dressed" of the whole fest. we Dig. 

Sunboy. Sidenote: Their bassist wins for "Best Dressed" of the whole fest. we Dig. 

Next up was Denver’s Sunboy, a psychedelic rock pop five-piece with some Tame Impala undertones. These boys have been getting some noticeable buzz lately, and played both the UMS and the Denver Pysch Fest this summer. Though they couldn’t incorporate the visuals they’re known for in their live performances into Saturday’s show, member Justin Renaud told us they recently created a new light production that they’ll be using for upcoming gigs. When we asked hypnotizing frontman and former CU student Jordan Lempe what it was like to be back on campus getting paid for a show, he laughed and told us, “It’s great to be on the other side.” Word.

The silhouettes of Joywave.

The silhouettes of Joywave.

As the sun set, Joywave entered, all in black. Joywave released their debut EP How Does It Feel? just last April, and they’ve already played on a number of late-night TV shows, opened for The Killers, are jetting off to play Reading & Leeds + Lollapalooza Berlin soon, and will return to headline their own US tour following their European adventure. If you caught any of Joywave’s set, you know why. They’re a five-piece indie pop and electronic crew who brought sweet beats, mad energy, and fun stage banter that engaged the crowd. Frontman Daniel Armbruster had CU students dancing, screaming, and jumping with him throughout their set. By the end Armbruster had everyone begging for “One more song!” and the group ended with their most popular track, “Tongues.” The crowd erupted in excitement and a massive sing-along commenced.

Seven Lions. Let it drop.

Seven Lions. Let it drop.

With the night in full swing, DJ Jeff Montalvo aka Seven Lions, took the stage. At this point, Welcomefest was packed. Students crowded against the stage barriers and when Seven Lions emerged, they went crazy. Girls jumped onto the shoulders of boys to rock out, there were tons of crowdsurfers, and everyone was moving to the bass. And that’s because the bass was insane. It was as if Seven Lions was controlling heartbeats with every thump. He had a ton of incredible visuals behind him as well. Lasers jetted out above the crowd until they hit the dorms across the field and the stage lights strobed in time with the beat. 

Seven Lions first gained popularity for his dub and trance tracks in 2011 when he remixed Above & Beyond’s “You Got to Go.” Since then, he’s toured with Porter Robinson and played several notable festivals including SxSW, Ultra, and EDC. And, lucky for the Buffs, Seven Lions just released a brand new track, “Falling Away” on August 14th, which he played at the show. The energy of the crowd was as palpable as the bass, and at some points, the crowd even started “Let’s Go Buffs!” chants. Welcome back, indeed.

Whippin' hair and heartbeats. 

Whippin' hair and heartbeats. 

Overall, Program Council assembled a very successful lineup. When we talked about the bands chosen with Aaron Rogers, Director of Public Relations for Program Council, he told us, “The whole process [of booking acts] takes months. Booking depends on budget, timing, artist availability, and a whole lot of other factors.” This year, Program Council’s time and investment were clearly worth it.

Well done Welcomefest.

-Hannah and Greg

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter. Follow Greg on Twitter.

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

Watch a Seven Lions video below: