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

By: Hannah Oreskovich

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

Portugal. The Man.

Portugal. The Man.

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

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

John Gourley.

John Gourley.

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

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

See our full gallery of photos from this show here

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram.

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

Scenic Route To Alaska Release First Single From Upcoming Record & "Slow Down"

By: Norman Hittle

Life on the road for touring bands can be a tough and a necessary evil for the growth of an artist’s career. Spending most of 2016 and 2017 venue hopping and taking the stage in different locales, Scenic Route to Alaska finally had the chance to stop, take a breath, and slow down. Better yet, they wrote a song about it!

Listen to Scenic Route to Alaska's "Slow Down":

The indie pop rock Edmonton-based trio, comprised of Trevor Mann on lead vocals/guitar, drummer Shea Connor, and bassist Murray Wood, said their single “Slow Down” is a reference to their time traveling cross-country and what it takes to maintain one's own sanity in the fast paced music world.

Scenic Route To Alaska.

Scenic Route To Alaska.

The single is the first song off of their slated 2018 LP (as of yet untitled) and marks the first music released from the band since 2016’s Long Walk Home. Though it explores some personal experiences, its guitar driven indie pop vibe makes it an easy listen, with nods to the stylistic nature of Queens of the Stone Age and Weezer.

Having been a band since they were teenagers, and having three albums under their belt (with a fourth on the way), these guys seem to be getting a good grip on making music that's both interesting and accessible for big fans and casual listeners. Keep an ear out for their upcoming LP and keep an eye out for a possible forthcoming US tour 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.

Real Estate Stopped at Denver's Gothic Theatre Before Coachella This Weekend & Kept Things Chill

By: Sierra Voss

Real Estate cruised into Denver’s Gothic Theatre this week. The band recently created a buzz by releasing their first music video for their single “Darling,” which features a horse named Moose who has become quite famous. Shortly after their release of “Darling,” Real Estate dropped their newest album, In Mind.

Founding band members Martin Courtney (guitar/vocals), Alex Bleeker (bass/vocals), and former member Matt Mondanile meet in high school. It wasn’t until post-college that the three met up again and formed Real Estate. Soon after taking the plunge, they signed to Domino Recording Company and have since played plenty of national music festivals, including Coachella (which they will play again this weekend) and Pitchfork. Last year, Mondanile left the band and was replaced by Julian Lynch (guitar). Real Estate’s current touring lineup also includes Jackson Pollis (drums) and Matthew Kallman (keyboards).

Real Estate’s mission with their new record seems to simply be to keep shit chill. In Mind holds fast to their well known tranquil guitar lines and whimsical lyrical phrases, but is missing some of the flare found in old songs like “It’s Real” or “Had to Hear.” As such, the show was pretty much just that- laid back tranquil vibes reflective of In Mind. Upon taking the stage, band member Bleeker actually lit a stick of Palo Santo. And let’s face it- it doesn’t get much chiller than that.

Beeker and the Palo Santo sticks. 

Beeker and the Palo Santo sticks. 

Following the first song, frontman Courtney announced to the audience that his guitar string broke and asked if anyone out there knew how to restring it. Almost immediately, an audience member began to hop on stage, offering to restring the guitar for him. Newbs move, since it turns out the band was just joking, and handed the guitar off to be dealt with by the pros. But after that, Real Estate’s very chillness continued on with Palo Santo smoke in the air and most of us hoping for a Moose sighting. Keep up with Real Estate’s full tour 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.

'Colorado Sings Colorado'- Our December Spotify Playlist

By: Joliene Adams

Paper Bird knows what I mean. We both get it. Coloradoans LOVE Colorado. With plenty of good reason. This month's playlist is a love note to you Colorado, and all the music scene does to stoke fires in the hearts and minds of its people. To honor that love Colorado artists also have for their art and the people who listen, here’s our playlist of no-shame-sing-your-heart-out-loud for Colorado. We’re listening and thank you!  

BolderBeat's 'Colorado Sings Colorado' Playlist:

1. DéCollage, Magnetize (2016), “Denver Hustle”

DéCollage is one of those rare, exceptional beasts whose capacity for innovation is matched by their ability to effectively, cohesively render it on repeat. Their knack is a multidimensional, sensorial experience. I wouldn’t call DéCollage stylistic minimalists, but just as the art form of décollage, (where you remove parts to create your art rather than to add like a collage) this group has a sharp sensibility for which parts to leave in, and all the more importantly, which to leave out. They achieve stylistic versatility across and within songs without giving way to clutter.

There’s also something definitively fashionable about DéCollage’s music. This is in no way to trivialize it or call it fleeting. Quite the opposite. It’s so damn fashionable because it picks up on the numerous textures, trends, and facets available in contemporary and past pop to render a whole new thing from all these roots. “Denver Hustle” sounds runway ready. “Hold that pose,” they lyrically interject, “Hustle, hustle, hustle. Shine, shine. Summer, summer. Glow, glow, glow, glow.” Get it girl, get it.

2. Bop Skizzum, Coloradical (2012), “Coloradical”

What we have here is unadulterated funk’n’roll. This band is eight members thick and it sounds like it. “Coloradical” is fit to start a spontaneous street parade from the second the percussion hits. Crunchy guitar and saxophone raise the bar of this tune, and keep the voracious good times spiraling upwards.

I’ve always prided myself on an immense capacity for fun, and Bop Skizzum renders that passion musically. Though disbanded as of Valentine’s Day, 2014, Bop Skizzum made the final cut of sixteen potential songs found of Colorado musicians playing Colorado-themed music because: A) Colorado lives for the funk; dies for the funk and B) This tune is fun as hell. May the horn section and keys bring the funk to the fore always.

3. Mesita, With Love, from Laniakea (2016), “Chronolorado”

The piano hit me like a rearview mirror. Reflective. You can see forward past it, backwards through it, but both through the ultimate view of now. Emotively drift off to the gentle unfolding of instrumental minimalism on this track. And no worries: the thematically, existentially-heavy material will lighten your load like a backpack lifted from the shoulders at a journey’s end. All in due time, Chronolorado.

4. Head for the Hills, Robbers Roost (2007), “Telluride Song”

Appropriately, we have one of Colorado’s most popular bluegrass bands of the day singing about Telluride. Joe Lessard’s lovely fiddle, (which I’ve heard described as a violin you can spill beer on) gently brings you in. Solo vocals give way to echoing ones as the fiddle breaks things down hard and shows exactly how beer might get spilled on it, being played with such exuberant force and all. Sam Parks’ mandolin definitely shows how to roshambo right proper all the same too. This is a song the whole family will tap their feet to at the farmer’s market or a bluegrass fest. Classic Colorado for everyone.

5. Fed Rez, Folk Rock (2016), “Danver”

Let’s play a word association game. I’ll say a word, and you say out loud the first word that comes to your mind. Your word is: Denver.

What’d you come up with? I’ll hedge my bets it wasn’t diversity.

Fed Rez brings a Chicano/Mexican contingent into their work heavily on this number, both linguistically and culturally. And the song’s as full of food as a belly on Thanksgiving. “Danver” doesn’t eliminate your appreciation of the song as a listener if you don’t happen to know what a pot of hot posole is or chicken mole either. But if you do, I bet your stomach’s growling.

Fed Rez refer to themselves as allegorical hip-hop. Whatever the precise allegory is on “Danver,” food and location are definitive themes, as you ride around Westwood and Athmar Park to Green Valley Ranch and Park Hill, effectively cruising Denver with the Fed Rez Mile High City natives.

6. Grant Farm, Grant Farm (2012), “Funky Boulder”

This one sure sounds like the Boulder I know and love. As with a number of songs that made this playlist cut, this one’s good for dancing away or driving down a road, hand out the window doing that thing where you swerve and wave it against the force of the wind. But keep an ear- the pace of this song keeps at a clip that the brief escalating drum builds with a charging guitar that could easily get you caught speeding. Ride on you mountain roads.

7. The Good Time Travelers, The Good Time Travelers (2016), “Colorado”

My favorite moment on this tune is a very specific, but subtly calling one. “Getting high in the country, above the tree line, my head’s in the clouds. Getting low, in the ______.” Play another word game with me. What goes there? I’d go with valley. The Good Time Travelers go with canyon. And that’s so Colorado of them! This one’s a lighter, more reflective piece. The acoustic singer/songwriter duo keeps it simple and true. It’s an honest homage to home sweet home.

8. Hang Rounders, Bring Your Sister (2015), “I-70 Westbound”

Hang Rounders hang their hats on a simple foundation of guitar, pedal steel, bass, banjo, tenor guitar, drums, backup vocals, fiddle, and the proclamation that they are best heard live and danced to. Sonically? Good old fashioned country western. Thematically? Good old fashioned country western. Pick a highway, any highway. Pick a past or current flame… aim for one you’d most want to hear say or say to, “Daddy, would you please come home?” Add 3AM and snowing literally, or as metaphor, and you arrive at the same place as the listener: memories and/or daydreams of flying down that chosen road toward a chance of love. Nostalgia.

9. Paper Bird, When the River Took Flight (2010), “Colorado”

“Colorado! It’s your mother’s favorite state!”

Paper Bird represent something a lot of folks think of when they think Colorado music: bluegrass, Americana, and rootsy. They inject a sense of humor into this one, hitting the nail on the head that you’ll all whoop and yell “Colorado!” with joy when you make it here, but in all honesty? “No offense, but we won’t miss you when you’re gone.”

Caleb Summeril’s banjo strums undergird harmonica solos with Paul DeHaven’s guitar make you want to take a turn on the dance floor as each instrument takes it’s turn at the forefront. This is good mountain town porch music to the hilt. They ask you to sing along, and that’s a gas. I sang proudly in the shower to this tune more than any other jam, so that’s absolutely something. Coloradans are nuts for Colorado and Paper Bird sings it proudly.

10. Dechen Hawk, Soul Sessions (2012), “My Hometown”

Dechen Hawk’s hometown is Boulder. So this one’s a love song that is, well, just that: a love song. It just happens to take place in his hometown. References to the city don’t come up, but this well known Front Range artist is a staple of a vital, vibrant component of the local music scene. Our solo artist goes soft and soulful with variations in vocal delivery that keep this track interesting while showcasing a certain diligence of Hawk’s songwriting and musical composition abilities. The ultimately cheery melody alongside the sometimes lamenting lyrical content lend an authenticity and a fresh uplift, despite sometimes hard feelings. And that’s love.

11. Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, Even Better Times (2014), “Denver Rock City”

“Denver Rock City” comes at you straight with punk’n’party roll. They sing of changes Denver’s undergone or undergoing in the same lyrical breath as they sing of a stubborn personal refusal to change one’s ways or intentions. They tell you flat out, “And I know it’s a shame South Broadway is gone, but we’re all still kickin’ man- the party’s never gonna stop.” Bud Bronson & The Good Timers full-bodied guitar with rock rolling drums brings the perfect backdrop to keep said party going musically without you ever having to reduce yourself to vodka redbull to do it. They even got me to give it up for John Elway without thinking twice, and I’ve never seen The Denver Broncos play. Live or on television.

12. Lotus, Nomad (2005), “Colorado”

Get in the recliner, chez lounge, or down on the ground and lay on your back because it’s time to float off into full relaxation mode. Mike Greenfield’s light whisking of brushes on the drums and tender splashes on the cymbals combined with Luke Miller and Mike Rempel’s warm and restful guitar chords take you there inherently. It’s an instrumental love homage to Colorado. Considering both the song title, and this track’s downtempo lounge music vibe, you can easily imagine yourself wandering on a warm Colorado summer on a sunset mountain trail with zero of effort (either in imagining, or in physical labor). Chill.

13. Small Hands, This is Our Colorado (Single, 2011), “This is Our Colorado”

Small Hands’ (aka Richie Wallace’s) first two influences listed on Facebook are Hunter S. Thompson and Wu-Tang Clang. Chances are good that could be someone from many places, but any Coloradoan familiar with its literary and musical ties know the two are staples on the scene. If you’re even remotely familiar with the Boulder area, Small Hands will give you known coordinates that stimulate crisp mental visuals in no time. If you’re not familiar with it whatsoever, carefully crafted and accessible lyricism create a mental picture that won’t have you missing out on the joyride: “Lookin’ at the mountain silhouette… sky ahead, electric blue… Towering rocks tempting you to climb… Yellow aspen like fire in a sea of pine…” The song cruises and lets the visuals seep through its hip-hop poetics and uncomplicated, rich electronic and drum backbeats. Smooth.

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to take a listen to this playlist and more Colorado music playlists at BolderBeat.

-Joliene

All songs per the artists featured.

Paper Bird Takes Flight With New Self-Titled Album

By: Riley Ann

The Denver-based band that started with quaint beginnings never could have predicted where they are, nor where they’re going. After working in the studio with John Oates (Hall and Oates), Paper Bird released their self-titled album this year under the record label Thirty Tigers.

Fans who have been following Paper Bird evolve over the years will recognize their signature harmonies by the band’s three frontwomen: Sarah Anderson, Genevieve Patterson, and Carleigh Aikens. However, with some gritty electric guitar, rock organ, and raw, heavy drums in the studio mix, the band flirts with the rock of their pop rock sound, skirting the edges of 70s folk rock with a fresh, clean take. Furthermore, the vocals of their new album showcase more dynamic textures from the ladies. While their previous album Rooms exemplified their mastery of pure, shimmering harmonies, the new album unveils more nuanced emotions through the vocals, spanning whispering vulnerability, raspy desperation, and powerhouse vocal lines stacked like golden bricks.

Guitarist Paul DeHaven shared, “We were a lot more intentional with the sound we wanted to create [on this record]. Everyone in the band writes, which adds eclecticism, and we chose the songs that would work together in a cohesive, powerful way, and resonate with each of us individually.”

Watch Paper Bird’s latest music video for their tune “Don’t Want Half”:

The album began with 50 tunes the six members had written; some of them as complete songs, some of them as fragments needing development. Collectively, the members developed the songs and pared them down to the 11 best. Unlike Rooms, which was written in a month and recorded in less than two weeks, their self-titled album was refined and polished over a two-year period.

“The ability to listen back really informed what we liked and didn't like, so recording ourselves over two years gave us a new perspective on what needed to be added and what needed to be stripped away,” said DeHaven.

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Paper Bird’s latest release is currently available in record stores, but you can watch their music video for “Don’t Want Half above and stream the entire album on Spotify. See Paper Bird live next week on Saturday, October 29th at Ivywild School, a former elementary school that now functions as a community-building reimagined to link people, culture, and commerce. The show begins at 8PM, and tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of the show. You can also catch Paper Bird next month too at Denver’s Bluebird Theater November 25th and 26th. Show details can be found on their website.

-Riley

Find out more about Riley on her blog.

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 03/25 & 03/26

By: Hannah Oreskovich

One blizzard over and another on the way! Get out there for The Six:

Today (Friday 03/25):

BANDITS with Brandon Hagen and the Inquiry at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

BANDITS.

BANDITS.

Fresh off a badass tour with several SXSW appearances, Boulder’s BANDITS are back in town kids! “Straddling the line between psychedelic and downright explosive”, this rockin’ three piece are bound to bring your head-bangin’ heart to its knees. Plus Boulder’s Brandon Hagen and the Inquiry will be opening the gig. So party down and get to this show at The Lazy Dog tonight! Details here.

Listen to BANDITS track “Wheels”:


Tomorrow (Saturday 03/26):

The Alcapones with Kyle Williams at Jamestown Mercantile Co. in Jamestown 730PM-Close

Boulder’s folkadelic six-piece The Alcapones are playing a show at one of our favorite mountain town venues, The Merc. They’ve promised to “cook up a special homegrown Spring Fling” for you, “party mountain freakk style”. So make the short drive in your well-equipped Subi and check out the show! PS: The Merc’s dinners are not to be missed…

Peep The Alcapones album Happy:

The Ugly Architect, Whiskey Autumn, & Michael McGraw at Downtown Artery in Fort Collins 8PM-Close

Whiskey Autumn.

Whiskey Autumn.

Join Boulder’s R&B/pop rock trio Whiskey Autumn at Downtown Artery with Colorado singer/songwriters The Ugly Architect and Michael McGraw tomorrow night. There’s a sweet printmaking exhibit up for view right now in the gallery and the venue has a tasty cafe attached. Sip on some wine, check out the art, and support these local musicians! Stoked. Tickets here.

Listen to Whiskey Autumn’s “07.04.07”:

Plum with The Velveteers and Josh Moorehead and the Guestlist at the Hi-Dive in Denver 9PM-Close

The Velveteers.

The Velveteers.

LA’s rock’n’roll four-piece Plum are hitting the Hi-Dive stage tomorrow with two of our favorite local acts, heavy rock duo The Velveteers and western swing outfit Josh Moorehead and the Guestlist. Now that’s a sweet lineup! We’re pumped for this one. Tickets here.

Press play on Plum’s Light Years, Dark Years:

Andrew Sturtz at The No Name Bar in Boulder 10PM-Close

Andrew Sturtz.

Andrew Sturtz.

Ladies- we know it’s cold out, but Andrew Sturtz is just the man to keep you warm tonight. And he’s playing one of our favorite digs, The No Name. The Boulder transplant by way of Michigan will be croonin’ to you all night with special guest Sierra Voss. Come get down with these two and a brew. Can’t wait!

Check out Sturtz’s live performance of “Push to Fade”:

The Jauntee with Envy Alo at The Lazy Dog in Boulder 10PM-Close

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Boston’s psychedelic/jazz/blues trio The Jauntee have a show in the B tomorrow evening. And getting the party started will be Boulder’s Envy Alo, who just dropped their sick debut EP this week! The four-song EP titled One Time is energetic and groovin’ from start to finish, complete with shredding guitar solos, wave-crashing cymbals, and jazzy piano bits. So come party with this crew as they celebrate their new release and support The Jauntee at the LD! It’s gonna be a funkin’ great time.

Check out Envy Alo’s debut EP One Time:

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PS: This week, our Sunday partnership with Green Light Radio and Streetside Productions will feature a track by Boulder’s Envy Alo in honor of their new EP release! 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 catch an Envy Alo original courtesy of Rocky Flats!

See you in the snow.

-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: