Premiere: Denver's Boot Gun Debuts with a Bang with Two Singles & a New Music Video

Denver’s Boot Gun have entered the Colorado music scene with a serious bang. Today, the three-piece are releasing their debut single and video for “Virginia,” a high-energy rock’n’roll track with a Southern twang, and a rebellious video featuring a slew of Denver haunts to match. And folks, one thing’s for sure, the trio comprised of Keith Lawrence (guitar/vocals), Davie Landry (bass/vocals), and Cody Hart (drums), have brought the party.

“Virginia” was recorded and mixed by Todd Divel (The Yawpers, In The Whale, The Velveteers) of Silo Sound and mastered by Hans Liburd of Burdhouse Mastering. The video was directed and filmed by Colin Anders of Slice Cinematics (Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, A Shadow of a Jaguar, Dragondeer). Boot Gun also featured several friends on the track’s instrumentals including Bullfrog Baugh on harmonica, who makes an appearance in the video about 40 seconds in, Sam Janik on guitar, and Bill McKay on organ and piano.

Says frontman Keith Lawrence about the track, "Virginia came to me in multiple dreams last summer. I showed the boys the main riff and they said ‘Sounds great. Where's the rest of the song?' I told 'em I had to go back to sleep to hear [and] see the rest of it. A few months and a couple of disco naps later, we had us a rock’n’roll ripper."

A ripper it is indeed. “Virginia” is a boot-stompin’ tune rife with slashing rips, harmonica twang, and a jangly toe-tappin’ keys solo that will force you on your feet. Some of that energy didn’t enter the track until the boys rounded things out in the studio though.

Says Keith, “As a band, we all believe that a song isn't finished being written until we record it. Todd at Silo pushed for certain creative ideas that we were able to let shine on these tracks. Having Bill McKay sit in on keys helped round out the sound and bring our musical intention into fruition."

Boot Gun. Photo Credit:  Mountain Trout Photography

Boot Gun. Photo Credit: Mountain Trout Photography

Along with “Virginia” and their debut music video, Boot Gun also released their B side “Feels Like A Storm” today. While “Virginia” takes you on a wild ride, quite literally in the video, “Feels Like A Storm” is the moodier, heavy-hitting track from the trio.

Says Davie, “‘Storm’ is a song that we wrote collectively. It started with Keith singing but never felt completely right. So we argued and laughed, and laughed and argued, and I was forced to sing it… In the end, it became the beast that you're listening to today."

You can listen to “Virginia” and “Feels Like A Storm” on all major streaming platforms and catch Boot Gun live at Cervantes with Dave Watts & Friends on Friday, April 12th.

Says Davie on Boot Gun’s debut, “It’s a young band's take on all the rock’n'roll we love and grew up on. We go from A to Z, then back to A just make sure you're still with us."

Join that trip and keep up with Boot Gun here.

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

Every 2018 Red Rocks Show Announced So Far

If you've ever been to Red Rocks, you know there's nothing like it. From the natural beauty of the amphitheater, to the friendly crowd vibes, to the dancing security guards, a Red Rocks show is like its own mini-festival atmosphere. We spend a good part of our spring and summer at the Rocks, and below you'll see why. We've compiled every Red Rocks 2018 show announced so far this year, and we'll update this post every Friday. Start planning your season now and keep checking back for more new shows- 2018 is gonna be a good one. See you on the Rocks!

January

January 12- Red Rocks Local Set with Dynamic Distractions, Venture Still

January 26- Winter On the Rocks with Rick Ross, Jauz, Brother Ali

February

February 16- Red Rocks Local Set with Sugar Ridge Band

March

March 10- Red Rocks Local Set with Many Mountains, Miguel Dakota and The Differents

April

April 18- Camila Cabello

April 19- 311, Method Man, Redman, Collie Buddz, PROF, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Chali 2na

April 20- Flosstradamus, Kayzo, Famous Dex, Melvv, DUCKY

April 21- Opiuo, Sunsquabi

April 25- Kygo, Alan Walker

April 27- Vulfpeck, Kamasi Washington, KNOWER

May

May 2- Post Malone, 21 Savage, SOB x RBE

May 3- X Ambassadors, Misterwives, Allan Rayman

May 4- Twiddle and Stick Figure with The Hip Abduction

May 5- Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band with Leftover Salmon

May 6- Primus, Mastodon, All The Witches

May 10- The Purple Xperience

May 11- Tchami, Malaa

May 12- Global Dub Festival with Ganja White Night, Zomboy, Boogie T. b2b SQUNTO, EPTIC, AFK, Spock

May 13- Modest Mouse

May 14- Khalid

May 19- Above & Beyond

May 20- Elephant Revival with Blind Pilot

May 21- Phantogram, Tycho, Poolside

May 22- The Decemberists, Whitney

May 24- Louis the Child, Big Wild, Quinn XCII, Phantoms

May 25- Devil Makes Three with The Wood Brothers, Murder By Death

May 26- Emancipator Ensemble with Manic Focus, Wax Tailor, Kalya Scintilla & Eve Olution, Tor

May 27- The Disco Biscuits, Spafford, Organ Freeman

May 28- HAIM, Maggie Rogers, Lizzo

May 29- Five Finger Death Punch, Of Mice and Men

May 30- Vance Joy

May 31- Colorado Symphony: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, Brett Mitchell, Natasha Paremski

June

June 1- Michael Franti & Spearhead, Xavier Rudd, Victoria Canal

June 2- The Motet, Boombox, The New Mastersounds

June 3- Marshmello

June 5- Ween

June 6- Ween

June 7- Brit Floyd

June 8- Lettuce, The Floozies, The Funk Hunters, Jaw Gems

June 9- Big Head Todd and the Monsters

June 10- John Butler Trio, Tash Sultana, Mama Kin Spender

June 12- Bryan Adams

June 13- Turnpike Troubadours with Randy Rogers Band, Old 97’s, Charley Crockett

June 14- Ryan Adams, First Aid Kit

June 15- Odesza -SOLD OUT-

June 16- Odesza -SOLD OUT-

June 17- Dispatch, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Raye Zaragoza

June 19- Barenaked Ladies, Better Than Ezra, KT Tunstall

June 20- Kaleo, Anderson East

June 22- Widespread Panic

June 23- Widespread Panic

June 24- Widespread Panic

June 27- Dirty Heads, Iration, The Movement, Pacific Dub

June 27- Third Day

June 28- Funk on the Rocks with Chromeo, The Glitch Mob, Elohim, KITTENS

June 29- Avett Brothers with David Crosby & Friends -SOLD OUT-

June 30- Avett Brothers with Mandolin Orange -SOLD OUT-

July

July 1- Avett Brothers with Special Guest

July 2- Zeds Dead, Ekali

July 3- Zeds Dead, Ekali

July 4- Blues Traveler, G. Love & Special Sauce, The Wailers

July 5- Umphrey’s McGee, Lotus

July 6- Umphrey’s McGee

July 7- Umphrey’s McGee

July 8- Dark Star Orchestra with Keller Williams

July 10- Ray LaMontagne, Neko Case

July 12- moe.

July 13- GRiZ (live band)

July 14- GRiZ

July 15- Seal with the Colorado Symphony, Corinne Bailey Rae

July 16- Imagine Dragons, Grace VanderWaal

July 17- Jackson Browne

July 18- Sylvan Esso

July 19- Trampled By Turtles, The Oh Hellos, Dead Horses

July 20- The String Cheese Incident with JJ Grey and Mofro

July 21- The String Cheese Incident with The Main Squeeze

July 22- The String Cheese Incident with Rising Appalachia

July 24- Paramore

July 25- Killer Queen

July 26- Sarah McLachlin with The Colorado Symphony

July 27- Beats Antique, CloZee, Polish Ambassador, The Diplomatic Scandal

July 28- Tedeschi Trucks Band with Drive-By Truckers, Marcus King Band

July 29- Tedeschi Trucks Band, Drive-By Truckers, Marcus King Band

July 30- Halsey

July 31- Nas, Black Star, Push T, Brother Ali, The Reminders

August

August 2- HARD Red Rocks with DJ Snake, Virtual Self, Mija, GG Magree, Hekler

August 3- Lucero, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls

August 4- Yonder Mountain String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters

August 5- Joe Bonamassa

August 6- Steve Martin, Martin Short, The Steep Canyon Rangers, Jeff Babko

August 8- Portugal. the Man, Thee Oh Sees

August 9- Leon Bridges

August 10- Pretty Lights

August 11- Pretty Lights

August 12- Brandi Carlile with Shovels & Rope

August 14- LSD TOUR: Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam

August 15- Father John Misty, TV On the Radio

August 16- Joe Russo’s Almost Dead

August 17- Old Crow Medicine Show, I’m With Her, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Aiofe O’Donovan

August 18- Railroad Earth, Fruition

August 19- THE CULT, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush

August 20- Niall Horan, Maren Morris

August 22- Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Tank and the Bangas -SOLD OUT-

August 23- Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

August 24- 1964 The Tribute

August 27- David Byrne -SOLD OUT-

August 28- David Byrne -SOLD OUT-

August 29- Illenium -ALMOST SOLD OUT-

August 30- Shakey Graves, Jose Gonzalez & The Brite Lites, Twin Peaks

August 31- Atmosphere

September

September 1- Gramatik

September 2- Jason Mraz, Brett Dennen

September 3- Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with Aimee Mann and Amanda Shires

September 4- Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Margo Price

September 5- Gary Clark Jr.

September 6- Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter

September 7- STS9, What So Not, DJ Z-Trip

September 8- STS9, TAUK, Cut Chemist

September 9- O.A.R., Matt Nathanson

September 10- Mac DeMarco

September 11-  Rascal Flatts, Trent Harmon

September 12- NEEDTOBREATHE, JOHNNYSWIM, Forest Blakk

September 13- The Revivalists, Houndmouth, J. Roddy Walston and The Business

September 14- Gov’t Mule, Dark Side of the Mule, Warren Haynes Acoustic

September 16- NGHTMRE with Slander and JOYRYDE

September 17- Punch Brothers, Gillian Welch

September 18- Nine Inch Nails, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Tobacco

September 19- Nine Inch Nails, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Tobacco

September 20- Little Big Town

September 21- Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Galactic, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, New Breed Brass Band, Cyril Neville, Walter Wolfman Washington, Kermit Ruffins

September 22- Greenky Bluegrass with California Honeydrops

September 23- Greenky Bluegrass with Turkuaz

September 24- Beck, Jenny Lewis

September 25- Beck, Jenny Lewis

September 26- Ms. Lauryn Hill

September 27- Get The Led Out

September 28- Big Gigantic

September 29- Big Gigantic

September 29- 3LAU, Louis Futon, Party Pupils

September 30- Gregory Alan Isakov, Patty Griffin

October

October 1- Ben Howard

October 5- Snails

October 9- The National, Sharon Van Etten

October 11- Seven Lions

October 13- Rezz

October 20- Excision, SKisM b2b Trampa, Barely Alive b2b PhaseOne b2b Virtual Roit, Dion Timmer, Subtronics, Wooli

October 22- A Perfect Circle

October 28- ZHU

*All available tickets here.

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

Winter Is Coming So Snuggle Up To Our 'Cozy Vibes' Playlist

With a few snowfalls behind us now and many more ahead for those of us in states with actual seasons, we’ve got a cozy playlist for you to cuddle your ears with this winter:

Tastemaker Sierra Voss has crafted this warm blanket of fireside sounds for us, which features songs from artists like Leif Vollebek, The Haunted Windchimes, Bon Iver, Hallie Spoor, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Whitney, and more.

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!

Stay warm 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.

Colorado Music Festivals 2017: Your Official Guide To All The Goodness

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Festival season is arguably the best time of year in music. So here at BolderBeat, we’ll be updating this feature with every Colorado festival announcement that comes our way. Stay as on the pulse as we are.


FoCoMX- April 28th-29th

Fort Collins' premiere music festival has announced its lineup, which features hundreds of Colorado artists. Some of our favorites include Antonio Lopez, The Alcapones, BANDITS, Bethel Steele, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Edison, Foxfeather, Gasoline Lollipops, and The Velveteers. Full lineup here


Spread The Word Music Festival- May 5th-8th

Taking place at several Denver and Boulder venues, Spread The Word features a mix of local and national artists with styles including rock, jam, funk, reggae, hip-hop, folk/grass, electronic and fusion. Headliners of this year's fest include Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Euforquestra, A-Mac and the Hight, & Analog Sun. Full lineup on our announcement link.


Denver’s Project Pabst- May 20th

“Project Pabst was a wild success,” contributor Zach Dahmen wrote in retrospect of the 2016 festival that took over Denver’s Larimer Street last year. This year, the PBR-fueled lineup includes Ice Cube, Phantogram, Danny Brown, Kurt Vile, STRFKR, No Name, & more. We’re pumped for this. Details here


Greeley Blues Jam- June 9th-10th

The Greeley Blues Jam seeks to keep the blues alive, and this year, they’re doing just that with a lineup including Walter Trout, Samantha Fish, Honey Island Swamp Band, and Colorado favorite The Burroughs. This is one weekend you’ll enjoy being blue. Full lineup on their website.


Taste of Fort Collins- June 9th-11th

The 21st annual Taste of Fort Collins includes headliners St. Lucia, Gin Blossoms, Plain White T's, & Waterloo Revival this year. Tickets are only $5-$10 and the fest is hosted at Civic Center Park in Old Towne. Get out and get down! More info on their website.


Country Jam- June 15th-18th

Grand Junction will host Country Jam’s 26th annual four-day fest this year. Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Thomas Rhett top the headliners list of the 30+ artists that will play to your boot kickin’ desire. Surrounded by the red rocks of GJ, this festival annually hosts some of the biggest names in country music, and clearly this year is no different. More info at this link.


Sonic Bloom Festival- June 15th-18th

If you like electronic music, there’s no better place to be than Colorado’s Sonic Bloom Festival. Happening at Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, the weekend will feature performances from Gigantic Cheese Biscuits, The Polish Ambassador, The Floozies, and a huge array of electronic beatmasters. The festival will also feature yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists. And did we mention the visuals? Full lineup here.


Telluride Bluegrass Festival- June 15th-18th

Telluride Bluegrass Festival celebrates its 44th year this summer. Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Dierks Bentley with The Travelin' McCourys, and Brandi Carlile top the fest’s 2017 list. We can tell you from experience that last year was magical and we even met some our favorite musicians at (where else?) the Port-a-Potties. More info and tickets here.


Van’s Warped Tour- June 25th

Believe it or not, we attended this event back in 2015 after not having been since high school. Yes. Though much has changed since what was arguably Warped Tour’s heyday (moshing is now frowned upon), this is a fest that still has a cult following and still makes its way around the US. Attila, Bowling for Soup, CKY, & Futuristic top this year's bill- grab the full listing here.


Westword Music Showcase- June 25th

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host more than 100 live acts at their annual summer celebration this year. With Shakey Graves, The Revivalists, Cut Copy, Bob Moses, COIN, Arizona, and a long list of local acts, this will be one to clink a summer beer to and enjoy. Don’t miss out on Westword’s fantastic Friday night. Local artists should be announced soon; voting is open. More info on their website.


Central Rockies Old-Time Music Association (CROMA) Festival-

July 5th-9th

CROMA's 2017 festival at Parrish Ranch features a great old-time music lineup, workshops, nightly dances, open jams, classes for kids, open stage times, and couples dance workshops. Artists at this year's fest will include Eddie Bond and the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, The Ozark Highballers, Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller, and The Musky Dimes and Lansford and McAlister. Get full details and tickets here


The Ride Festival- July 8th-9th

Beck will headline The Ride Festival this year, another Telluride fest that is sure to get you groovin’. Ben Harper, Kaleo, The John Butler Trio, and Colorado favorite Rose Hill Drive will all keep your summer-chill vibes in check at this one. Full lineup here.


The Underground Music Showcase- July 27th-30th

One of our absolute favorite weekends of the summer is Denver’s The UMS due to its focus on local artists, and all the fun that comes along with wandering around the South Broadway venues hosting the three-day event. Benjamin Booker, Red Fang, & Esme Patterson are headlining this year, but we're more stoked on this massive list of local artists (a crazy amount of which we've covered in the last year). Get tickets here. More deets on our announcement link.


Rockygrass Festival- July 28th-30th

Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass. That’s what Rockygrass in Lyons is all about! Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, The Del McCoury Band, and The Infamous Stringdusters are already confirmed for this year’s pickin’ celebration, so get your tickets now. More artists at this link.


ARISE Music Festival- August 4th-6th

Colorado’s ARISE is back for its fifth year at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films! Some of the top billed artists for 2017 include Atmosphere, Tipper, and Ani Difranco. Get more details at our announcement link.


Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest- August 11th-13th

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in the historic downtown of Fort Collins. CAKE has been announced as one of the headliners with more TBA- keep up with the full lineup here.


Velorama Colorado- August 11th-13th

Following the Colorado Classic bicycle race, Colorado’s newest festival Velorama will take place in Denver’s RiNo Neighborhood this summer. Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, The New Pornographers, Saint Motel, and La Santa Cecilia are the bands announced so far, and you don’t have to bike in the race to partake in the party! Tickets for this new fest here.


Rocky Mountain Folks Festival- August 18th-20th

Last year, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival proved to be much more than a music festival. Bringing together local artists for songwriting workshops and more, the Lyons, CO fest created an awesome artistic community that still managed to showcase great national acts too. Gregory Alan Isakov, Lake Street Dive, and Rhiannon Giddens have already been announced for this year’s fest; full schedule and list of acts here.


Jazz Aspen Snowmass- September 1st-3rd

We don’t know how Maroon 5 is jazz, but they are headlining the JAS Labor Day Weekend festival this year. Colorado favorite Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Lake Street Dive, and Keith Urban will also have performances at the Snowmass event. JAS has a smaller June event too, which will feature John Batiste & Stay Human, Michael McDonald, and Earth Wind & Fire. Details on both events here.


Telluride Blues & Brews Festival 

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Telluride Blues & Brews Fest has Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, TajMo at the top of their bill this year. You can get your grand brew tasting on for three days with these artists and more, plus there is a lot of availability in ticket options, so you can schedule your own fest experience. Get more info here


Festivals of The Past

We'll miss you Vertex.

We'll miss you Vertex.

Wondering what happened to some of your other favorite Colorado festivals? Bass Center moved to New Jersey this year, Divide Music Festival has been postponed until 2018, Groove Festival’s web presence has been replaced by this Japanese site making us question everything, Mad Decent Block Party went to India (yes really), Riot Fest Denver will not return due to Sean McKeough's death, and Vertex (which we freakin’ loved) was sadly cancelled, but we’re praying it comes back to life with full zombie mayhem next year. Fingers crossed fellow festheads.


Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all season on BolderBeat’s dedicated fest page!

-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.

School of Rock Meets Musical Fame: Life Growing Up at Denver School Of The Arts

By: Sierra Voss

I remember my first music photography gig well. I was shooting for BolderBeat at Denver’s local music festival, The UMS Showcase. It was a strange but exhilarating feeling being down in the audience, watching the shows through a camera lense. My life has been filled with music from a very young age, but I was used to being the one on stage. I spent the majority of my childhood- seven years- attending Denver School of the Arts (DSA) as a vocal major. This festival was my first time using a new artistic tool to capture a musical experience I knew so intimately.  

DSA is a public magnet arts high school and middle school that offers rigorous daily involvement in a specialized art form. When I attended the school as a vocal major, students took part in over an hour and a half of their art form (or major) every day. It was a specific type of education that differed greatly from my other friends high school and middle school experiences. Although I didn’t professionally pursue voice after high school, I found art was always an integral part of my life. It was something I felt made up my genetic composition, and was at the core of how I processed and expressed the world around me.  

My love for photography came after my love for singing, but as I grew older it took priority. It wasn’t until this past year that I had the idea to explore merging the two artistic expressions I loved so dearly. It was this decision that landed me at The UMS, ready to jump into the weekend's festivities.

As I looked at the lineup, I was floored by how many acts had members that went to my high school, DSA. I had no idea so many of my peers had stuck around town to build out their musical passions and careers. I had to wonder how DSA had shaped so many of these current artist’s paths, and was so intrigued about who they had all become within Denver’s music scene. So I sat down with numerous DSA Alumni to explore just that.

Jon Shockness- Kid Astronaut (former singer in Air Dubai)

From my own experience, Jon Shockness was no doubt the cool kid on the block in middle school. He practically melted every one of our moms’ and sisters’ hearts during our 2001 “Pop Show” performace when he sang “Ben” by Michael Jackson.

Jon performing at DSA’s “Peacejam Event” in 2009.

Jon performing at DSA’s “Peacejam Event” in 2009.

How did your time at DSA influence the artist you are today?

When I think about being a singer and my history with voice, I know a lot of it started with the training I got from DSA. Even today, I create some of my vocal tones from arias I sang for master classes in high school. I am definitely influenced by my time there. Being able to harmonize with other artists was definitely learned from DSA. Overall, my time at DSA inspired me to have a lot of respect for artists and different types of voices. It instilled in me a deep respect for my own voice on a deeper level that allowed me to really grow as an artist.

On the hard days, do you have a mantra that inspires you to continue your musical career?

Oh yeah. There was this thing one of my exes told me. She said, “You're always where you need to be.” I was going through a rough time and not sure why things weren't moving the way I wanted them to or thought they should. This was like 2012 before we got signed. Anytime I feel incomplete or like I'm in the wrong place, I remind myself that I'm where I need to be and usually allowing myself to accept my position creates growth.

Portrait of Jon 2017 per the author.

Portrait of Jon 2017 per the author.

Shane Franklin- Lead singer in hip-hop band SF1

The kid that was always, always playing drums on any and every surface he could find.

Shane playing drums for his college band in 2009 at Larimer Lounge.

Shane playing drums for his college band in 2009 at Larimer Lounge.

What did you love the most about DSA?

I remember we used to have teachers that would base writing prompts around our major, like, write an essay about how your major correlates with The Scarlet Letter. DSA really let us create a world shaped by our art form and what we loved.

How did your time at DSA influence the artist you are today?

Students were truly limitless at DSA in terms of collaborations and exploring different art forms. We were given opportunities to collaborate across majors. I remember drumming for the vocal department, tap dancing with the dance department, doing music for the cinema majors, and auditioning for musicals. It shaped me going out into this world as an artist. You can't just keep yourself in a box. That's why my music incorporates dance and theatrics. My time at DSA made me into the collaborative artist I am today.  

Do you think you could live life without music? What would you do instead?

Music is life. It's plan A. Plan B is execute plan A!

Portrait of Shane 2017 per the author.

Portrait of Shane 2017 per the author.

Julie Be- (Julie Almeria) also singer for project STéLOUSE

Julie was the girl who always got the best part in school-wide musicals, and rightfully so. I remember being in awe as I watched her in one stunning musical theater role after the next throughout my time at DSA.

 Julie starring in DSA’s production of  Aida .

 Julie starring in DSA’s production of Aida.

What differences do you notice working with DSA artists versus non DSA artists?

I think there are a lot of generous and nice artists in the music scene in Denver. I think that’s cool because those are the main characteristics I think of when I think of artists from DSA. I definitely think that there is a total sense of comradery between DSA artists though. Like, these are people that I especially want to see succeed. I think we fit very well into a scene that is already pretty generous, and I think we add a lot of good qualities too. DSA artists are just nice people, and nice people are sometimes rare in this world.  

What's your end goal? What if you don’t get there?

The end goal… that's a damn good question, and I ask myself that every day. When I was younger, I defined "success" as being famous, a household name, rich, etc. I doubt I'm alone in that… but now, I see success as being more about how I feel about the work that I am doing as opposed to how other people feel about it. I want to continue creating- releasing my own complete album is a bucket list item for me- and collaborating with other artists in ways that feel genuine to me. If I could do away with my day job and just make music for a living, I would be so freaking happy. Yeah, it would be cool to win a Grammy or to go on a world tour. Do I want those things? Absolutely! But to me, they're not the goal. If anything, they would be a by-product of the goal. At the end of the day, I want to arrive at a place where I can look back at my musical career and say, "I did what I wanted to do, and I did it with integrity".

Portrait of Julie 2017 per the author.

Portrait of Julie 2017 per the author.

Shilo Gold- (Shayna Goldstein)

I will never forget Shayna’s first-day-of-school-outfit in the 7th grade (think platform sneakers with fire flames going down the side and basketball shorts). Shayna has been many things to me throughout my life: a mentor and a fierce competitor, but above all else, my best friend.

Shayna singing in DSA’s Vocal Department’s 2007 “Pop Show."

Shayna singing in DSA’s Vocal Department’s 2007 “Pop Show."

What led you to start your music career in Los Angeles, and why did you decided to move back to Denver?

DSA gave me a certain strength that was bred from a really young age. It enabled me to really believe in myself. We were instilled with the ideas of what we could achieve, and were given a lot of power to invent ourselves as artists. I think it gave me the courage to move to Los Angeles and take on a bigger scene.

During my time in LA, I was missing a sense of authenticity. It felt so competitive and stiff. I left on tour and spent a year playing shows in 38 states. There was no doubt in my mind that Denver was where I wanted to end up.

Have you ever consider exploring a different career? What pulls you back to your artistry?

Pursuing a career as an artist is anything but easy or stable. Everyone has different tastes, and no matter how proud or passionate you are about what you are creating, it doesn't mean that it will be widely received. I have definitely questioned my ability to pursue my craft, and in turn, contemplated what other careers would look like for me. At the end of the day, I have realized that music is something deeply engraved in my bones. It is my journal, and the greatest gift I have to give. No matter what I do to pay the bills, or put food on the table, music is the reason I wake up in the morning and the way I make others feel like they are not alone. It's not that anything in particular keeps me dedicated to music, it's that I've done my share of exploring and have come to realize that no matter what path my life takes, writing and sharing music will always be a part of it.

Portrait of Shilo 2017 per the author.

Portrait of Shilo 2017 per the author.

Nic Hammerberg- Member of SYCDVK & Petals of Spain

Nic was basically my older brother growing up. He drove me to school everyday. We became obsessed with sharing new musical discoveries like Feist, Jack Johnson, G. Love and Special Sauce, and obviously the soundtracks from 'Garden State,' 'The O.C' and 'Grey's Anatomy.'

 Nic performing in DSA’s “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.” Photo by Edward Davidson 2005.

 Nic performing in DSA’s “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.” Photo by Edward Davidson 2005.

What connects all DSA students?

We are a special breed. We all have this connection, but how do you put your finger on it? It feels special to me. It's like if we all went to Hogwarts! You know- we have that bond! We are all from the Gryffindor house is what I am saying.

When I see other DSA artists performing around town, I just know so viscerally what they went through to get there. It's not to say that other people aren't as skilled, like muggles for example, they can be super great wizards too. But us magic folk are true wizards. We can just do anything that we set our minds to. We all studied our craft every day for basically all of high school and middle school. How could that be anything else but magical?

Do you have a song that you would say embodies your journey as an artist?

"Sleeping Lessons" by The Shins. That song has often been an inspiration in moments of sadness, and to really light a fire under my ass. There was something so different and mysterious about that song when I first heard it, lyrically and melodically, that acted as a psychedelic to me; opened my brain to new. There is new everywhere, and there is lots of opposition and challenges in discovering yourself. The lyrics are brilliant and provide a new support and resilience: "So enlist every ounce of your bright blood, and off with their heads…  You're not obliged to swallow anything you despise."

Portrait of Nic 2017 per the author.

Portrait of Nic 2017 per the author.

It became clear after interviewing my peers that growing up in an art school environment truly shaped who these artists are today. They confirmed my deep feelings and beliefs that students from DSA learn and refine skills that allow them to continually re-create themselves as artists. They collaborate with other singers, create an arts community, respect other forms of expression and bring to the table exceptional knowledge of music theory. DSA artists are truly an important part of Denver culture, and are creating a loving and collaborative music scene.

Other awesome DSA artists hidden among Denver’s music scene include: Wesley Watkins (founder of The Other Black and former trumpet player for Nathaniel Rateliff and Night Sweats and), Brittany Williams (of Brittany Williams & The Unstoppable Groove), Halle Spoor (who is currently recording her first album), and Khalil Arcady (Sur Ellz).  

These artists all perform frequently around town throughout the year. Keep an eye on their platforms for updates of future shows!

-Sierra

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

December 17th Has Officially Been Declared Colorado's Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Day

By: Sierra Voss

Governor Hickenlooper hereby proclaimed December 17th as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Day last night. That’s right, this sweet Denver-based band now have a day all their own for all they have brought to the world with their music, and more specifically, for all they have brought to Colorado.

During the short ceremony prior to the show, Hickenlooper made a declaration to the sold-out Ogden crowd, bestowing the honor upon the band:

“So we want to do something really special tonight to thank them for everything they have done to put us on the map in such a big way…
Whereas the folk R&B group haS traveled over 208,000 miles in the last 18 months, touring the world and playing sold-out venues; and
Whereas, since June 2015, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats have performed 246 shows in more than 16 countries across the globe; and
Whereas Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats sold over 640,000 albums and have performed for over 700,000 people, not including you; and
Whereas 7.1 million people have listened on Spotify and streamed the equivalent of over 432 years of the group's music; and
Whereas, managed by Chris Tetzeli and Denver-based 7S Management, the group, even with their global travel, has deep roots to the Colorado community; and
Whereas their upcoming August 2017 show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a world-renowned venue with 10,000 seats, sold out in just 7 minutes!; and
Whereas Colorado’s music scene continues to grow and thrive through the enormous talent, dedication, and passion for community that musicians like Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats brings to our state;
Therefore, I, John W. Hickenlooper, Governor of the entire State of Colorado, do hereby proclaim forever after, December 17th, 2016 as Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Day in the state of Colorado."

And so, on the snowy Saturday night, fans celebrated a day in the name of the band as Nathaniel Rateliff dropped to his knees, thanking the audience as the Colorado flag was wrapped around his shoulders.

The adoring crowd launched into dance as the band opened their emotionally heartfelt set. The room was buzzing with positive vibes encapsulating the support this community has had for Rateliff & The Night Sweats throughout their journey. It was clear how moved Nathaniel was as he stopped every few song to praise the crowd and speak his heart, wiping away tears.

It seemed all and every popular Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats song was played, including of course, the band’s hit song, S.O.B. The band closed with this track and departed the stage, prompting the crowd to burst out into chorus singing back to the band for an encore.

It was a magical night for Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats fans, and an important recognition from the state regarding Colorado’s growing music scene. The band’s next announced Colorado gig is the aforementioned Red Rocks Ampitheater show in August 2017. Looking to catch a show before next summer? Check out their international tour schedule here.

-Sierra

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

A Light in the Darkness: An Interview With Wesley Watkins of Other Black

By: Mirna Tufekcic

Wesley Watkins is a powerhouse. To have a frontman with so much momentum will inherently draw attention to a band as a whole. But Watkins is just one member of an assortment of artistry that demand its presence on stage: what started with nine musicians back in 2012 has fluxed in members since then, but at times has been as many as 24. Meet the Other Black.


All photos per George L. Bosser.


I had the pleasure of seeing Other Black perform at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver recently and interviewed Watkins post-show. The small stage of the venue was crowded with somewhere between 12-16 artists throughout the set who played three hours of original tunes and featured several local artists whose voices carry a worthy message.

“When I thought about getting features for this show, I asked people who are gonna say something everyone needs to hear. If you’ve not experienced injustice, it’s my job as an artist to bring awareness to the fact that this injustice is around. And I want to encourage those who are strong enough to speak up to continue doing so.” Watkins told me.

Watkins and Heffernan.

Watkins and Heffernan.

Kalyn Heffernan from Wheelchair Sports Camp and Stephen “Brer Rabbit” from Flobots, both of whom have been through a lot of injustice in their lives, each made appearances within the crowd at Other Black's Syntax show to speak about current events in the world with fellow audience members.

Wesley Watkins.

Wesley Watkins.

My conversation with Wesley very quickly took a political, bigger-picture kind of turn. I want to believe it was because our heartstrings tuned in as two agents of change trying to shine light on darkness and bring awareness where awareness is so desperately needed during these hard times.

He went on, “As musicians, especially those staying true to what they sound like, [we] have a responsibly to talk about what is happening in our modern world. We have to be careful of what we put out there- this world can’t take any more bullsh*t. And as a musician myself, I want to encourage other musicians out there to stay true to themselves and not try to be a part of a product.”

I agreed with him wholeheartedly. We, as a people, definitely need inspiration and positive, good-hearted individuals to wield social and cultural sentiment, which music and art (and free press!) is ripe with the power to do.  

Watkins with Other Black.

Watkins with Other Black.

So, where does Other Black fall in this spectrum of empowering agency and bringing awareness?

The Other Black is a music project created out of love for hip-hop, jazz, soul, and gospel music, all of which are genres born out of slavery and life struggles experienced by the oppressed, specifically the black population of the US.   

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth. It’s what I grew up with and what I wanted to tap into with this band.” Watkins said. “Most of the songs Other Black plays today, I wrote when I was homeless and on the streets back in 2009. And I want people to know that it was by no fault of mine that I ended up homeless.”

Wesley has been in several different bands including Air Dubai, Petals of Spain, and most recently, he toured with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. But he realized that having his own project was what he needed to do to fulfill his purpose as an artist.  

“By the time 2012 rolled around, I was just getting out of being homeless and had been in several different bands with some of my closest friends. But I kept quitting bands. That’s when a close friend of mine brought it to my attention that I needed to start my own. I started Other Black because of my love for soul and hip-hop.”

But when Wesley talks about soul and funk music, he is talking about the “old-school sh*t” like Sly Stone and Sam Cooke, whose music shed light on the daily struggles of black people in America, and 90s hip-hop, which gave a powerful voice to the still oppressed and marginalized black Americans.  

“We have a system that’s really bias. So what you see from black powerful figures in our media today is so bias and it’s perpetuating a stereotype. To have today’s hip-hop artists like Kendrick Lamar speak the hard truth they don’t want to hear, but need to, is important and it’s empowering the people. At the very least, what I can do with my music is bring awareness to what is unjust in the world.”  

When I started the interview with Wesley, I wanted to know what Other Black implies in its name. I forgot to ask, but now I’m left with only room for interpretation, which is a good thing. What I infer after talking to Wesley and seeing Other Black on stage at Syntax is that the Other Black is a light amidst the darkness. It’s the mold breaking the stereotype. It’s an attempt at bringing awareness through music by making people get down.

“I want to encourage people to experience themselves, because if people can experience themselves to the core of their being and be comfortable with that, then all of a sudden we have people who are comfortable with how other people are starting to experience them.” Watkins told me.

If you want to find out what Other Black means to you, you can. They will be rockin’ in the New Year with The Yawpers at The Oriental Theater on December 31st for New Year’s Eve. You can check out their Facebook page for more information, and to hear their music, click here. Be on the lookout for the Other Black’s first album too, which is still in the works and will feature 14 songs which more than likely will encourage you to experience yourself. And that’s powerful.

-Mirna

All photos per George L. Bosser. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Wes Watkins Returns to the Colorado Music Scene

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Wes Watkins has returned with a bang. After a battle with epilepsy forced him to leave a touring stint with Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats, Watkins made his way back to Denver and has been doing what he does best: playing music with every inch of his soul. Not one to stay offstage for long, Watkins came back to The Mile High City earlier this summer and managed to guest in twelve sets at The UMS with various performers, started recording an album for his project The Other Black, and has played gigs throughout the state with artists like Izcalli. How’s that for a homecoming, Colorado?

Last week, The Other Black performed at The Boulder Theater opening for Who’s Bad?, and if there was ever any question of Watkins’ capabilities as a frontman, let me lay those to rest for you now. From his trumpet and synth skills to his energetic engagement with the crowd to his incredible vocal range (when he hits those soulful low notes honey, you’ll straight swoon), Watkins proved he’s everything you want in the leader of his brainchild, The Other Black.

Wes Watkins.

Wes Watkins.

Watkins danced across the stage with finesse during most of the band’s tunes, backed by a 12-piece outfit that included four backup singers, two percussionists, and a small horn section. The group had a couple of minor sound issues in their set, like when they had to stop mid-song because Watkins’ keyboard was nowhere to be found in the mix, but overall they kept a crowd of a couple hundred people engaged who were mainly there for a Michael Jackson cover band. When you can get people up dancing and clapping along to your music, and they came for a band that plays zero originals, that says something.

Megan Crooks.

Megan Crooks.

The Other Black’s sound is a mix of soul and funky doo-wop meets R&B with a little baby bit of pop thrown in. It’s tasty, and we can’t wait to hear what they lay down on their next record, which is set to be finished near the end of the year.

Watkins’s triumphant return to the scene continues tomorrow night, when he will play a solo set at Larimer Lounge opening for The Shadowboxers. Keep up with The Other Black’s show schedule here, and we’ll keep you posted on their upcoming album as details become available.

Welcome home Wes.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Colorado's Edison Announce New Album, 'Familiar Spirit', & String of Hometown Shows

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Most bands dream of touring the nation and hitting the pavement on the reg, and Denver’s Edison have spent the last year doing just that, playing shows from coast to coast, and everywhere in between. The Colorado folk rock trio, consisting of Sarah Slaton (vocals/guitar), Dustin Morris (drums/vocals), and Grammy-nominated guitarist Maxwell Hughes (formerly of The Lumineers), made the joint decision in 2015 to quit their day jobs and pursue music full time. And that choice has sure paid off: Edison was recently signed to Rhyme & Reason Records, are coming out of a busy festival season with another full tour planned for the fall, and their album, ‘Familiar Spirit’, drops next Friday, 09/16/16. In anticipation for its release, Edison are actually headed back to the CO for a bit, with hometown shows planned at Boulder’s Fox Theatre this Friday, 09/09/16 and Denver’s Larimer Lounge next Tuesday, 09/13/16. Make sure to snag your tickets now, and in the meantime, check out our interview with Edison below:

How did the three of you come to be a part of the Colorado music scene?

Dustin and Sarah were initially involved in the Denver music scene, and Max had strong roots in his hometown music scene up in Fort Collins. In 2014, Sarah opened for Dustin and his former project on a tour to SXSW. By the end of the tour, they were collaborating on stage, and continued working together after returning home. Fast forward a year later, and Maxwell joined the Edison duo project on a co-headlining tour to SXSW 2015. [Edison’s] missing piece came together on that trip, and we've been a band ever since. 

Edison. Photo Credit:    Kristen Wrzesniewski

Edison. Photo Credit: Kristen Wrzesniewski

We know that you made the decision to hit the road and foster relationships with people on tour before releasing much music as a band. How did you have the courage to take this approach? And how has this route defined this project for you?

The courage to commit to such aggressive touring came after years of each of us touring solo with our own music. Within the last decade, each of us had traveled alone across the country with just our instruments and clothes in our car. When we finally made it into a car together, the chemistry clicked and we immediately agreed to give this project 110%. The road feels like home to all of us already, and [this project] has been defined by our joint love of traveling, and trying to carve out our future. [We will continue to tour this fall] with Jared & The Mill after Familiar Spirit is released next week, and we're so excited to take this record to the West Coast.

Denver is quickly becoming a massive launch pad for national acts, two of which you’ve had the chance to share a stage with (ie: Hughes as formerly of The Lumineers and Edison’s performance with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats). In your experience, why do you think Denver is a growing music hub? And what do you dig most about the Denver scene?

The scene in Denver stands out from other markets because there is a culture of collaboration. Musicians build community with one another instead of opting to view it as a competition. There are more systems in place to support the scene [in Denver] than most cities too. Things like CPR’s OpenAir, Illegal Pete’s, Levitt Foundation, SpokesBUZZ (R.I.P.), The UMS, and Youth on Record all make supporting local musicians part of their core mission. Artists in Denver have access to music business education, philanthropic opportunities, and media exposure all at their fingertips. It's something special.

Photo Credit:    Kristen Wrzesniewski

Photo Credit: Kristen Wrzesniewski

Sarah- As an out female fronting a successful indie folk project, you’re in a position of power to bring your background to your audience. How do you harness that power in your artistry to empower women, and LGBTQ individuals?

I'm proud to be an out woman and to stand on stage beside two men who support me and the LGBTQ community. It's been really rewarding to get feedback after a set from girls who are wanting to pursue music, or who have questions about my experience being an out musician. I hope that they take away something from the set that adds to their confidence in wanting to go for it themselves. 

When it comes to releasing ‘Familiar Spirit’ this month, what are you most excited about? Sharing the new tunes? Getting back on the road? All of the above?

All of the above. This record is something we've been sitting on since recording [it] last spring, and we have been anxiously awaiting the release date. We're so proud of the album, and to finally see people take the music home at shows will feel like Christmas.  

Photo Credit:    Kristen Wrzesniewski

Photo Credit: Kristen Wrzesniewski

What can your audiences expect from your sets while you’re in Colorado for these hometown shows?

Our hometown shows will be the perfect cap to the first leg of our 2016 tour. We have been working hard on the set for each show, and can't wait to get in a room with our hometown audience. They're family. We may have a few tricks up our sleeves for them, but folks will have to come see for themselves!

Well played, Edison. Stoked for the shows.

Make sure to catch Edison at Boulder’s Fox Theatre this Friday, 09/09/16 and Denver’s Larimer Lounge next Tuesday, 09/13/16. And keep up with this Colorado folk rock trio on their Facebook.

-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.

Denver's Brittany Williams IS The Unstoppable Groove

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Colorado singer/songwriter Brittany Williams recently released a new track titled “Everything And More”, a tune which you will find on her upcoming EP Brittany Williams and The Unstoppable Groove. The 26-year-old Denver native has been hard at work over the past year, releasing her eight-track debut Cursed With A Blessing just six months ago.

Listen to Brittany Williams’ “Everything And More”:

A Denver native well known in the local R&B/Soul scene, Williams has found herself in “Everything And More”. Her voice is smooth and strong; she belts out the tune with a sultry confidence that is explosive and rich in tone. The upbeat pace of the song, moved along by jazzy percussion and velvety trumpet timbre, creates the groovy ambiance of a smoky jazz club where we are the hypnotized observers and Williams is the star. This release is proof of Williams’ successes to come. Brittany Williams IS the unstoppable groove. And you’d better not miss her.

Brittany Williams.

Williams has managed to surround herself with a number of talented musicians on “Everything And More”, who will also be featured on her upcoming EP. With Wes Watkins (trumpet) of The Other Black and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Sean Dandurand (bass), Dylan Johnson (drums), Ben Weirich (keys), and Ramoane Williams (guitar), Williams has coordinated quite the hard-hitting team. Each member brings their own swingin’ elements to the track while still letting Williams’ vocals shine.

If Williams’ upcoming EP is anything like “Everything And More”, we have a feeling it will be hard to catch her anywhere but on tour. So keep up with her current live performance schedule here, and stay tuned for more from Brittany Williams and The Unstoppable Groove. We’re definitely keeping our eye on this Denver talent, and you should too.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on instagram and twitter.

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

BolderBeat's Guide to Colorado's Summer Music Festivals 2016

By: Claire Woodcock

It finally feels like summer, so let's fest. 

We know you want to hit the festivals on our list. 

We know you want to hit the festivals on our list. 

It’s festival season, which has all of us here at BolderBeat elated. Press kits are flying, and we want you to be as on the curve as we are! So here are our top picks for Colorado’s summer music festivals:

Project Pabst May 20-21

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats at Denver's Project Pabst. 

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats at Denver's Project Pabst. 

Project Pabst was a wild success,” were Zach Dahmen’s words in retrospect of the festival that rocked Denver a few weeks ago. We brought you exclusive coverage on Best Coast, TV on the Radio and more in our feature of the event. Relive that time Charles Bradley almost did the splits and The Violent Femmes helped us blister in the sun with our photos per Ian Glass.

Sasquatch Music Festival May 27-29

Kurt Vile at Sasquatch.

Kurt Vile at Sasquatch.

BolderBeat had a press invitation to Sasquatch Music Festival this year, so we threw down content on The Cure, Disclosure, Florence and the Machine, M83, Grimes, Sufjan Stevens, Purity Ring, Kurt Vile And The Violators, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats, and more! Take a scroll through our pictures right here and read over our recaps of the awesome weekend. It wasn't in CO folks, but it sure was awesome.

Sonic Bloom Festival June 16-19

The 11th annual Sonic Bloom Festival is coming up soon! This year, SB is at Hummingbird Ranch, nestled in the heart of Spanish Peaks country. The weekend will feature performances from Bonobo, Tipper, and a huge array of electronic beatmasters. The festival also features a crazy lineup of yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival June 16-19

Telluride's Bluegrass Festival has been a massive success for 43 years. 

Telluride's Bluegrass Festival has been a massive success for 43 years. 

Telluride is known as one of the best festival spots of the west, and Telluride Bluegrass Festival has been keeping that notoriety alive for 43 years! The festival dates fall on the weekend closest to the summer solstice, giving you the longest day of the year to wander from set to set. Guests this year include Ryan Adams, Neil Finn, Emmylou Harris, and more!

Westword Music Showcase June 25

Summer in the city at Westword's Music Showcase. 

Summer in the city at Westword's Music Showcase. 

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host more than 100 live acts, most of which are Colorado-based. Denver band 888 is slated to play one of Westword’s main stages, while Cold War Kids, Matt and Kim, and New Politics front a lineup sure to make this year’s showcase a success.

The Ride Festival July 9-10

Views on views at Telluride's Ride Festival.

Views on views at Telluride's Ride Festival.

The Ride Festival, another Telluride fest, is one of the first live music/camp combos of the summer. Since 2012, this festival has firmly established itself in rootsy rock vibes. This year’s headliners include Pearl Jam and Cage the Elephant.

The Divide Music Festival July 22-24

divide-2016-lineup.jpg

Divide in Winter Park is a new music festival in Colorado this year. Its lineup boasts performances by Bleachers, Cake, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Kid Cudi, Miike Snow and more! Festival perks include hiking, biking and yoga for festival-goers.

The Underground Music Showcase July 28-31

For many Colorado musicians, UMS is one of the biggest festivals of the summer. Performers on the national scene include San Francisco garage rockers Thee Oh Sees. Go celebrate over 100 local performers making it happen in CO's music scene at this Denver setup!

Bass Center July 29-30

Bassnectar is bringing a massive show to CO.

Bassnectar is bringing a massive show to CO.

California’s Bassnectar first brought Bass Center to Colorado in 2010; this festival is the traveling circus of electronic music. The Bassnectar tour travels with its own custom sound rig, and headlines some of the most noted venues in the country. Acts this year include Flux Pavilion, Flying Lotus, Wu-Tang Clan, and Lupe Fiasco. You can check it out in Commerce City, and there are two camping villages for the hardcores: “The Shire” and “Narnia”.

Vertex Festival August 5-7

At its core, Vertex is diverse music, outdoor adventure, and artful fun in beautiful Buena Vista, CO. Alabama Shakes and Odesza are two of the headliners, to give an idea of the range of performers on this lineup. We’re covering press at Vertex, so expect lots of info to hit our site over the summer on this one!

ARISE Music Festival August 5-7

Nighttime shows at Arise rule. 

Nighttime shows at Arise rule. 

Here’s another festival that is Colorado heavy. ARISE will take place at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch again this year, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films!

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest August 12-14

Did we mention this fest is free?

Did we mention this fest is free?

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in historic downtown Fort Collins. Local faves DeVotchKa and The Fray are headlining this bad boy, and there's a ton of other great local acts playing too. Check out the lineup here!

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival August 19-21

BYOBlanket to Rocky Mountain Folks Fest.

BYOBlanket to Rocky Mountain Folks Fest.

The Rocky Mountain Folks Festival is happening in Lyons, CO, a mountain town 15 miles north of Boulder that NPR’s All Things Considered once described as “the Nashville of the Rockies”. The festival recently added The Decemberists and Conor Oberst as national acts to their local lineup.

Riot Fest September 2-4

BolderBeat couldn’t be more excited to wrap up the summer festival roundup with Denver’s Riot Fest & Rodeo in September. With national acts like Sleater-Kinney, The Misfits and Yo La Tengo, to name a few, Riot Fest will be an explosive ending to the upcoming sunny summer of music!

Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all summer on our dedicated fest page!

-Claire

All photos per the festivals featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Noah Gunderson Made Us Cry, Ty Segall Made Us Bleed, & King Tuff Showed Up: Sasquatch Day Two

Sasquatch Day Two featured sad songs by Noah Gunderson, crowdsurfing selfies by La Luz, and a freak party by none other than Ty Segall.

Noah Gunderson.

Noah Gunderson.

Noah Gunderson, with his soothing and bottomless voice, was a welcome reprieve after the hottest part of the second day at The Gorge. Seattle’s own, Gunderson is currently touring on his 2015 release, Carry the Ghost.  His show was a family affair, with his brother on drums, and his sister singing backup and playing violin. But his sad songs were a little out of place in a big summer festival like Sasquatch, with heavy bass from rapper Ryan Caraveo bleeding over from the stage next door. Gunderson would be an amazing artist to catch at a more intimate venue down the line, but despite the limitations, his performance was captivating.

La Luz.

La Luz.

La Luz, Seattle’s female surf doo-wop four-piece, have become seasoned performers in their recent years, touring seemingly endlessly. Their surf attitude and sound, along with their quality songwriting, has recently fueled their move from Seattle to LA, though the group is still signed to Hardly Art Records. La Luz’s set was sparse to begin with, but a little bit of sun toward the end refueled the crowd, and prompted the ladies onstage to throw a disposable camera into the crowd asking for lots of “crowd surfing selfies”. Needless to say, the people made it happen.

Tamaryn.

Tamaryn.

Tamaryn was a set that would have been great later in the night and indoors, or rather in the tented El Chupacabra stage. The New York-based artist and multimedia collaborator put on a solid show, but not to many. There just aren't enough nu goth fans at this fest.

Ty Segall masked.

Ty Segall masked.

Ty Segall unmasked.

Ty Segall unmasked.

Ty Segall was next with a top notch touring band, including King Tuff on guitar. Unsurprisingly, Segall’s performance was the most theatrical set of the day. His always-shifting stage persona was in full-on freak-party mode. It was the kind of show where people walked out of the front bleeding, so of course it was a great set to end the afternoon and kick off the night.

King Tuff.

King Tuff.

More ‘Squatch coverage to follow! Look at today’s schedule here.

For the Colorado homies.

For the Colorado homies.

All content per Kaitlin Summer for BolderBeat.

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

Sasquatch Music Festival Is This Weekend

 

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Sasquatch Music Festival starts tomorrow and we're pretty excited about it.

The furry creature in the woods is REAL kids and we’re STOKED to be covering its presence in The Gorge this year. Welcome to our weekend at the ‘Squatch! The massive music festival starts tomorrow, and here are the deets:

Who’s playing?

Sasquatch has a fat lineup this year, with heavy-hitters including: The Cure, Disclosure, Florence and the Machine, Major Lazer, M83, Grimes, A$AP Rocky, Sufjan Stevens, Purity Ring, Leon Bridges, Jamie xx, Kurt Vile And The Violators, Big Grams, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats, and more! You can peep the full list on their website, and if you’re trying to figure out who to see when, click here for the schedule.

Are tickets still available?

Only a few, which are likely to sell-out in the next 24 hours. Cop ‘em here.

Life at The Gorge.

Life at The Gorge.

What’s up with this festival?

4 days. 4 stages. Music, food, comedy, and camping. Hooping. Ice Cream. The chance to see Bigfoot. Sun. Sweat. Unexpected onstage collaborations. Fun. The opportunity to refuse to shower for four days and make your best friends revel in your Yeti-like scent. And all the while, surrounded by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest in what is now the fest's 15th year. Yeehaw!

Aye! We're headed to Sasquatch!

Aye! We're headed to Sasquatch!

We’re bringing you exclusive coverage over the holiday weekend, so get ready for rad photos and sweet show summaries! Check back for all things ‘Squatch- show starts tomorrow.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos and artwork per the festival featured and those credited.

Project Pabst Denver: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats Announce New Music and More

By: Zach Dahmen

Project Pabst Denver was a wild success.

The fest. [All photos per   Ian Glass Media  . See more   on our Facebook .]

The fest. [All photos per Ian Glass Media. See more on our Facebook.]

Our Lyft came to a slow stop on Larimer Street in the heart of Denver, as the shape of the giant stage formed in front of us. Doors cracked open and the sweat began to make itself visible; it’s a hot one. Between the streets of 27th and 28th on Larimer this weekend lived the Pabst Project Denver: a forty-band music festival put on by PBR, the token drink of hipsters and cheap beer lovers everywhere. Long associated with music, PBR entered the festival circuit in 2014 in Portland, Oregon. This year, the fest branched out across three cities, with Denver being the first of the concert tour.

Raise 'em high.

Raise 'em high.

Walking around the closed-down streets, the scene was flooded with people bookended by two enormous stages: The Captain Pabst stage on 28th and The Laser Horse stage on 27th. Nearly everyone around me held a tall boy, walking between stages and multiple tents.

South of France.

South of France.

Our first stop was the Larimer Lounge, an indoor stage for hometown band South of France. The indie pop five-piece started things off right, with their fresh hooks and melodic vocals. Every band had about a 45 minute set to play, making for a lot to see over the course of the day.

All Chiefs.

All Chiefs.

Next was Boulder/Denver-based All Chiefs playing on the Meadowlark’s patio. The band sweat through a blazing set of their originals, and choice covers, including TV On The Radio’s “Wolf”. The group drew a good crowd for the small venue.

Fidlar.

Fidlar.

Back out in the sea of tank tops and sundresses Fidlar started on The Laser Horse Stage, demanding attention through the walls of the Meadowlark. The indie rock outfit played a heavy set, inciting a mosh-pit and lots of PBR spillage. Their cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” drew the loudest reaction from the crowd.

Charles Bradley.

Charles Bradley.

After another PBR and some much needed time in the shade, we ventured to see Charles Bradley, who brought his brand of soul and funk to the party. The 66-year-old singer moved around with ease, and sang through his vast catalog to cheers from the crowd. Bradley moved with grace and ease, even pulling the falling mic-pull move, and taking a small break for a wardrobe change. Bradley was quite possibly the classiest act of the day.

Violent Femmes.

Violent Femmes.

With little time to spare, we raced across the swelling crowds to the Captain Pabst Stage, where the Violent Femmes were just beginning. The 90’s band drew one of the biggest crowds of the day, playing their hits to a more than enthusiastic crowd. The band took an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude, starting off with their biggest hit first (“Blister in the Sun”). With giant horns and xylophone solos, they proved why after so many years, they still deserve to be a headliner.

Best Coast.

Best Coast.

Beating the crowds back to The Laser Horse Stage, we were prepared for Best Coast, the act that replaced Courtney Barnett because she had to go and play Saturday Night Live (catch that here). But Best Coast were a great addition, and their first show in months had the female-fronted band bringing a sonically impressive, and yet very personal mix of tunes. They played until the sun set.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

As darkness enveloped the block, the masses silhouetted by street lights flocked to see hometown heroes Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. Clad in an all white denim getup, Rateliff took the stage like a warrior returning from long travels. The crowd of more than 2,000 danced on command, and hung on to every note from the veteran performer. The band played through their current self-titled release, forcing many beer cans to be crushed under tapping toes. One of the highlights of their set was their announcement of a new EP set to be released sometime this fall, followed by the debut of a new track. The experience was not lost on the group themselves, as Nathaniel more than once extolled the greatness of the Denver music scene, and the band’s gratitude for the city.

Finally, the night capped off right where it had started that afternoon: at the Larimer Lounge. A. Tom Collins played to a raucous late night crowd, with an ample horn section, and plenty of onstage antics. Drunken dance abounded, as the crews outside began to clean up what amounted to be a giant, beer-fueled block party of great music. Let’s do it again soon Denver.

-Zach

All photos per Ian Glass Media for BolderBeat. See more on our Facebook. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.    

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 05/20 & 05/21

By: Hannah Oreskovich

TGIF! Let’s get to the tunes:

Today (Friday 05/20):

Battle of the Beer Round One with MOONTANG, The Alcapones, and Pro-Leisure at The Fox Theatre in Boulder 830PM-Close

Tonight kicks off Fox Theatre’s monthly Battle of the Beers, and all your favorite brews will be there: Avery, Boulder Beer, FATE, Odell, Oskar Blues, and Upslope. They’re competing for most brews poured, so come thirsty kids! Some of the night’s proceeds will go to charity, but entrance is free + it’s an all-ages show. And of course, there will be music! Boulder’s MOONTANG future-soul collective will be headlining the night, sharing the stage with folkadelic/reggae outfit The Alcapones and funky/jam rock group Pro-Leisure. Get down! (PS: Eye our exclusive Alcapones interview.)

Listen to Moontang’s “Higher Places”:

Lula Granji with Asalott at Tony P’s Music in Denver 10PM-Close

There’s been a lot of Boulder talent at Tony P's lately, and that’s the case tonight, as Boulder’s Lula Granji and Asalott take the stage. Jazzy-psych/funk five-piece Lula Granji will close out the evening, after a trance/dance set from Asalott. This is a show to groove to folks. $5 cover; lots of drink specials. Head on out! (PS: Catch our exclusive Asalott interview here.)

Listen to Lula Granji’s “Orama”:

Midnight Strange at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Everybody needs a little Strange once in awhile, and tonight’s the night Boulder! These indie twangin’, boot swingin’, booze slingin’ boys will be busting out their best bolos for you at The No Name Bar this evening. The five-piece has been working on some sweet new tunes for the summer! Come on over and dance along!

Check out Midnight Strange's "Miniature Lake":

Tomorrow (Saturday 05/21):

The 3rd Annual Upslope Get Down Festival at Upslope Brewing in Boulder 1PM-10PM

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It’s American craft beer week, and Upslope wants to celebrate it with you! They’re throwing a massive bash at their Flatiron Court location that will include brews, several food trucks, 3 stages, and thirteen local bands. The best part? Thanks to Flatiron Subaru, it’s free! Get out in the sun and see Eminence Ensemble, Freekbass, Lady and the Gentleman, Gipsy Moon, Zee Jackson 4, MOONTANG, Punch Drunk Munkey Funk, Booster, Steepland String Band, Realtalk, Reckon, K-Law, and Zen Mustache. Festival deets here. Can’t wait to see you there!

Peep Eminence Ensemble’s album Mouse Hunt:

Project Pabst Music Festival in Denver’s Larimer/RiNo Neighborhood 1PM-10PM

Though there have been a few changes in the lineup (most notably when Courtney Barnett was swapped with Best Coast), tonight’s Project Pabst festival is still going to be rad. Hometown heroes Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats are headlining the gig, with a slew of talented local and national acts tagging along. The Violent Femmes, K. Flay, and others will be helping you party with your PBR tall boy. We will be snapping pics and covering the fest. Stay tuned for our full review; it drops Monday! Full lineup and tickets here.

We know you’ve seen this Nightsweats video already, but watch it again, will yah?:

John Craigie with Dustin Reid at Swallow Hill Music in Denver 8PM-Close

The last time John Craigie was in Colorado, we caught his back-to-back Boulder to Denver shows, and we loved him. Craigie’s troubadour lifestyle gives his music, and his sense of humor, a crafty wit that weaves between his talented songwriting and musical prowess. Craigie has performed all over the world, and it’s easy to see why once you’ve had the chance to catch him live. Also aboard this Swallow Hill gig is Denver’s talented folk and blues singer/songwriter Dustin Reid, who will be opening up the evening on guitar, banjo, and dulcimer. Get tickets while you can! (PS: Here’s that one time we chatted with Craigie.)

Listen to John Craigie’s “Coldest Colorado” (of course we chose this one):

BCFM

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Boulder County Farmers Market is every Saturday from 10AM-2PM, and this year, we’re working closely with BCFM to promote the music at the market! Tomorrow, David Coile will be holding things down at the big red tent near the vendors! Stop by to hear this local singer/songwriter and grab some tasty eats!

Check out David Coile’s original “Change Myself”:

GREEN LIGHT RADIO

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This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Colorado Springs’ Hydrogen Skyline. Want the scoop on this female-fronted indie electro rock act? Read our feature on the band here! Make sure to tune in to any of the Colorado Community Network Radio Stations here (95.3 or 95.5 Boulder) or stream Green Light Sunday night between 9-10PM to catch their tune “Victory”!

Happy Weekend!

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on twitter and instagram.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured.

The Weekend Six: Six Shows to See 08/07 & 08/08

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Hey friends! We’ve been a bit absent on the scene this week working on some cool upcoming features, but you know we’re all about weekend shows, so here’s where to be the next two nights:

Today (Friday 08/07):

Augustus at Twisted Pine Brewing Co. 7PM-Close

We’ve got a piece hitting the site next week courtesy of Pete Laffin on these boys and their new EP Into Frames! Go peep this show, listen to their new tunes, and check back with us Monday to read Pete’s latest on Augustus!

Bateria Alegria at The Pearl Street Mall 730PM

The Colorado Brazil Fest is bringing some awesome Samba percussion to the Mall this evening. There will be music and dance performances by Boulder Samba School’s Bateria Alegria and Samba Colorado right in front of the Courthouse. Their drums will get your heart beating so stop by!

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at The Fox Outdoor Stage 9PM-????

Rateliff has been a Denver-based singer-songwriter for many moons now. But recently, he has picked up mad steam with his group The Night Sweats (peep their performance on Jimmy Fallon this week here, for which they got a standing ovation). They have an amazing folk/rock/R&B thing happening, and believe us when we say that NR & The Night Sweats are one of the biggest bands to be watching out for right now. We have a feeling they are going to jet off into some serious fame here soon. Tonight’s performance is free. Come hang with the cool kids. 

NR dancing with Fallon.

NR dancing with Fallon.

The War on Drugs at The Fox Theatre 830PM-Close

Though they aren’t local, this is going to be an amazing Fox show. These Philly boys will be heartland-rocking you deep into the night, and though the show is a bit pricey, you won’t be disappointed. Start with Rateliff and end with Granduciel? Yes please.

Tomorrow (Saturday 08/08):

Foxfeather at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse 8PM-Close

Boulder folk outfit Foxfeather will be jamming at the LG tomorrow, and you should be too. Let this female-fronted band croon to you over a tasty latte! Emily Scott Robinson will also be performing at this event.

FF.

FF.

Sumilan at The Lazy Dog Sports Bar and Grill 10PM-Close

These progressive rock/trance dance dudes are going to be jumping around the stage at The Lazy Dog tomorrow night and they have a sound worth checking out! They’re from Athens, Georgia and are finishing up their summer tour. Listen to them here before the show. 

Sumi boys.

Sumi boys.

Get to it Boulder. Happy weekend.

-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.