Denver’s premier indie festival, Underground Music Showcase, is back for its 15th year and ready to kick it into high gear. The four-day festival (July 28-31) will take place in the eclectic Baker Neighborhood, with over 400 performances showcasing an array of talent. With so many incredible performers to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. Even so, we thought we’d help out by sharing our picks of must-see artists (in no particular order) at this year’s festival.
RL Cole and the Angels
With a voice like warm molasses and a sinfully inviting way with the guitar, RL Cole’s music will take you to another dimension that resembles the underground New Orleans Voodoo rock scene.
"Dirt floor folk with the energy and rebelliousness of punk" is one of the phrases used to describe Gasoline Lollipops. You’re sure to get a high-energy set with these guys, who are no strangers to entertaining large crowds.
Psychedelic rock fans will not want to miss Plum’s performance. Their groovadelic sound and overall stage persona will make you move between headbanging to swaying with trance-like delusions.
Lee Fields & The Expressions
With a worldwide music career that spans over 40 years, Lee Fields’ set will be history unfolding in front of you. From lo-fi rock to Southern blues, all soul fanatics must get themselves to this show.
It’s “creep rock” mixed with folk flavor and dream-like vocals sure to bring out all the feels. If you’re in the mood to float into some music, check out Porlolo and let yourself vibe a bit.
Open to the Hound
Enter into singularity with Open to the Hound, who are not afraid of exploring the weird. They’re wilderness rock, grunge folk, and a ton of fun to watch.
Australian-made and internationally-known alternative pop group Methyl Ethel aim to dissociate their fans from the present and bring them into their musical multiverse.
Another psychedelic treat for any attendees who want to escape themselves for a bit, Sunboy’s multi-layered musical concoctions will leave you talking about their set for weeks.
Thee Oh Sees
Garage rock, psych-pop rock, or however you interpret their style, Thee Oh Sees are a headliner you do not want to miss.
Often known for saying “screw it” to the stage, SPELLS will have you moshing, flailing, screaming, and sweating all over each other.
Dirty Few is the perfect group to celebrate your Saturday night second wave with. Their party ‘til you drop mentality is sure to blow the roof off of the devilishly fun Hi-Dive.
If you’re a fan of badass chicks who can rap, sing, and play guitar, check out KITTY CRIMES, who will keep your booty shaking even after her set is over.
Bud Bronson & The Good Timers
Playing at their second home, the Hi-Dive, Bud Bronson & The Good Timers are a group of hilariously charismatic rockers who just want their fans to have a good time. Their feel-good summertime party rock is impossible not to like, so grab a beer and get in on the fun.
One of the most unique sets I’ve ever witnessed came from DéCollage. With costumes, lights, fog machines, and shiny mylar galore, you won’t be able to stop your body from moving.
Rock music resembling the moments right before a fever breaks, The Yawpers will leave you wide-eyed and craving another dose of their mania.
The UMS this year is bound to be one for the books, and with so many talented performers on the bill, it is encouraged to see every band you possibly can. If you can barely walk by day four, you’ve done it right. So grab those tickets, coordinate your schedule, and prepare yourself for a wild weekend. We'll see you out there!
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.