10 Sets We Really Loved at The Underground Music Showcase

By: Nathan Sheppard

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

PPL MVR at the UMS.

PPL MVR at the UMS.

The Burroughs

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

Cloud Cult

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

Deerhunter

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

Decatur

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

Hot 8 Brass Band

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

My Body Sings Electric

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

PPL MVR

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

Silver & Gold

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

Slow Caves

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

White Denim

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

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

See a full gallery from our UMS 2018 weekend here

-Nathan

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

Native Station: The Alt-Rock Outfit Who Moved to Boulder for the Colorado Music Scene

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Originally formed in Marion, VA, alt-rock four-piece Native Station moved to Boulder for the Colorado music scene. Founding members Greg Benton (vocals/rhythm guitar) and Thomas Troutt (backup vocals/lead guitar) said they first became serious about music as a professional pursuit in 2014, when they started writing more original work together. Once in Boulder, the two met Brett Cunningham (bass) and Nick Solga (drums), and Native Station’s current lineup was formed.

Native Station.

Native Station.

Just this summer, Native Station released their debut EP, Bones ’N All. It has strong alt-rock vibes almost reminiscent of the scene in the 2000s (before bands like Fall Out Boy or Panic! At The Disco sold out to the Top 40 Pop Charts). Benton’s vocals are raw with feeling and the percussive drops throughout the record make for a catchy accompaniment to their choruses (see especially on “All My Friends” and “Runarounds”). I could easily see Native Station sharing the stage with a talented Colorado group like My Body Sings Electric. The EP is available for download, and you can also preview it on Native Station’s website.

Since the release of Bones ‘N All, it’s likely you’ve seen Native Station’s name around your town. The band has played shows in Boulder, Denver, Greeley, and Longmont over the past few months. Though there’s nothing currently on their books, you can keep up with their show schedule here.

Make sure to give Native Station a listen, and keep up with the band on their Facebook!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

Denver's Meeting House: The Blues Rock Band Who Is So Much More Than Just Their Age

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Alt-blues rock band Meeting House are a Denver-based trio comprised of Ryan Rundles, Ethan Cowell, and Nick Lyon. At first glance, you might think they’re just another blues band kickin’ around the Rockies. They’ve got the influences many bands in their genre invoke: The White Stripes, The Black Keys, and Kings of Leon. But these three dudes are definitely cooler than your average local act. Why? Because in their short time together, they’ve already played The Oriental Theater, the Deer Pile, and the Downtown Artery... and these guys are still in highschool. That caught our attention, so we reached out to the trio to talk about how they came together, what it’s been like trying to score sweet gigs as an underage band, and what their plans are for the year. Check out our chat with Meeting House’s Ethan Cowell:

First things first- how did the three of you get together?

We all live on the same street. I had known Ryan since middle school without even realizing that we live on the same block. We started jamming and really wanted to start an official band. Then we met Nick, who actually didn’t know how to play the drums, but had an interest in learning them. So we let him beat the hell out of an old set Ryan had until he was good enough to fake it.

Hahaha that’s awesome! Where’d the name come from?

The name of the street we live on is Columbine. We found that another name for the Columbine flower is “Meeting House”. So we went with that.

Denver's Meeting House.

Denver's Meeting House.

Nice. Talk to us about your experience so far in the Denver music scene- what have you most loved and what has been a challenge for you?

We love that Denver is this melting pot of music! There are so many genres coming out of this town! However we have had a hard time getting into this scene because we’re so young that people don’t take us seriously. We try to utilize as many DIY venues as possible because when some large venues see that we’re under 21, they won’t give us the time of day.

That’s tough. But we’ve noticed that you guys have still managed to play some sweet mid-level venues with some really well known acts, including My Body Sings Electric and your upcoming gig with Shatterproof at Hodi’s Half Note in May. That’s impressive. How long have you been playing together?

A little over a year now.

Meeting House at the Downtown Artery in Fort Collins.

Meeting House at the Downtown Artery in Fort Collins.

Solid! So we know you just dropped your self-titled EP. Where was that recorded and who produced it?

We recorded it at home. Oliver Mueller (Slow Caves) came over with all of his mics and amps and we had the studio brought to us! Oliver produced and mastered everything.

Those are some great guys to have supporting you. What are your plans for the rest of the year?

At this exact moment, we’re just trying to be taken seriously as a band. We really want the Colorado music scene to view us as heavy-hitters, and not just some high school band.

Something tells us they’ll come around very soon dudes.

Listen to Meeting House’s track “Beware of the Vulture”:

Follow Meeting House on Instagram, and peep their Facebook for regular show updates.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

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

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 03/18, 03/19, & 03/20

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Happy weekend peeps! Here’s The Six:

Today (Friday 03/18):

Jeremy Baugh, Hunter Stone, & Cody Hart at Taco Junky in Boulder 9PM-Close

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These three talented musicians have formed a supergroup of sorts that will be rockin’ out at Taco Junky tonight on The Hill. Baugh (of Cold River City), Stone, and Hart (of Cold River City & Asalott) will treat you to some sweet tunes while you stay warm with margs and tacos. Plus if you’re heading to the Marco Benevento show at The Fox, TJ’s is right next door, so drop in and say hi! We’ll see you there!

Tomorrow (Saturday 03/19):

Big Ol’ Birthday Bluegrass Bash at Studio 700 in Boulder 7PM-Close

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We brought you tons of sweet coverage on the last Studio 700 show (Music Masquerade), and this weekend’s party is bound to be just as fun! It’s St. Patrick’s Day themed, so put on your best leprechaun suit and hop around to the bluegrass bands on the bill. Booze, snacks, and all the funnest people in the land will be there. Don’t forget your green kids.

Get more details on this event here.

Natural Motives with The Boundless at Sancho’s Boulder Arrow in Boulder 8PM-Close

Chris Ruiz of Natural Motives.

Chris Ruiz of Natural Motives.

Get grooved at Sancho’s on The Hill tomorrow night with Boulder’s jam/funk band Natural Motives and the tribal/electronic outfit The Boundless. Grab a brew and party! The Boundless have promised dancers and visuals, so prepare for a psychedelic time. It’s going to be an awesome show! Learn more about this show here.

Listen to a Natural Motives self-titled EP:

The Next Day (Sunday 03/20):

Jeremy Mohney at The Mercury Cafe in Denver 7PM-Close

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney.

Jeremy Mohney has a sweet Sunday show at The Mercury Cafe in Denver with a talented crew: Alex Heffron (guitar), Gary Sloan (trombone), Greg Corcione (drums), & Hunter Roberts (bass). The five-piece will be playing jazz and swing originals, and even have some new material promised for your ears! Go practice your swing moves and end the weekend right. More info right here.

Listen to Mohney’s “Boco Stomp”:

My Body Sings Electric with Soon To Be Titans, Foreverfall, & Meeting House at the Downtown Artery in Fort Collins 7PM-Close

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Denver’s alt/posthardcore crew My Body Sings Electric are playing their last CO show this Sunday at the Downtown Artery as they jet out on a national tour. Sharing the stage are Loveland’s alt/rock Soon To Be Titans, along with Fort Collins’ Foreverfall. Plus new Denver rock trio Meeting House will open the show. The Meeting House dudes happen to be dropping their new EP at this event, so make sure to catch their set! It’s going to be a shreddin’ time, and you can cop more info here.

Check out Meeting House’s track “Beware of the Vulture”:

Britt Margit Melisma EP Preview at The Laughing Goat in Boulder 9PM-Close

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Aspen singer/songwriter Britt Margit is having a preview show of her upcoming EP Melisma at The Laughing Goat on Sunday. We’ve got a whole feature on her here- check it out! And make sure to stop by and catch her set!

Listen to Margit’s “Peace And Harmony (In The Bleak Midwinter)”:

ANDDD for our #ListenLocal feature this week:

PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder’s Cold River City! The rockin’ funk and blues outfit dropped their new album Thank You. Sorry. Love You. this week! Green Light was live at Frozen Dead Guy Days last weekend, so instead they’ll play the single this Sunday. So tune in to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light between 9-10PM to listen to CRC’s single “Could It Be”!

Stay warm out there! See you at a show!

-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.