Something Like Sound

The Vinefield Agency Launch Party and Artist Showcase

by on Oct.19, 2010, under Concert Reviews, Photos

When I walked in Casselman’s Bar & Venue off Walnut St in LoDo, it was definitely a change from the sticky beer floors, the 1o foot wide stages, and graffiti covered bathroom stalls that I was used to. I’m not saying I was uncomfortable, I’m just saying it was an adjustment. I mean, they had a man in the bathroom to turn the water on for you and smell you to see if you needed cologne. But once I had scoped out my environment and found a group of hipsters to stand near (notice I said “near,” they still haven’t accepted me as their own), I grabbed a Newcastle Brown Ale and prepared myself for Vinefield Agency’s lineup for the night.

To start off the night, the MC (dressed in an all denim suit I might add) introduced I Know Your, Rider, a band he said (and they later confirmed) was loud. They played a solid set, filled with tremolos, head banging, and that rock beat they said they were gonna bring. I took home one of the sharpie’d CD they were giving away because, despite not having any lyrics, these guys new how to rock.

Rachel James Project

The next band reminded me that this was a showcase, which in my mind is the concert equivalent of that sampler you order when you want to please everyone in your party of six, a little bit of hot wings, chicken strips, avocado egg rolls, mozzarella sticks, etc. Sitting behind her piano Rachel James played with passion and sang the pop melodies that make her so appealing. Even with the absence of their usual guitar edge, the Rachel James Project provided the energy to follow a much more rock-sound without missing a beat.

Carbon Choir

Carbon Choir took the stage and played their intricate, atmospheric rock that turned heads all across the Front Range. Joel Van Horne’s vocals set the tone for the group whose parts layered together like a painting, the kind of painting that could get you off your feet and moving if it wanted too. The song that got most of my attention was “Measure of Your Madness,” which best summarizes this well-put-together band’s sound and may have been my favorite song of the night.

200 Million Years

The Electro / Rock / Soul group for the night was 200 Million Years. They continued the atmospheric trend from Carbon Choir, but no bass and only the occasional guitar, their synthetic sound had me asking “who do these guys sound like?” That’s where Carl Sorensen comes in. His organic drumming creativity combined with Zale Hassler’s vocals and Ellison Park’s tight bass lines makes something you can’t help but move to.


If there was any point where you were reminded that this was a showcase (aside from barely being able to count all the bands on your figures) it was Gangcharger, the experimental rock group that was (how do I say this gracefully?) very loud. Their edgy, distorted sound was definitely aligned with the “Noise Rockers” they aim to be.

Monroe Monroe

A newer Denver group, Monroe Monroe with their Interpol-esque guitars, Bella Abbatecola’s catchy hooks, and  Matt Morse’s driving drums played a heartfelt set, which echoed the “LOVE” sign on lead guitarist Tavis Alley’s guitar amp. Even with the great lighting Casselman’s provided, their energy made them difficult to capture on camera.

John Common and the Blinding Flashes of Light

The arrival of a cello on stage signaled the appearance of John Common and The Blinding Flashes of Light. They were a beautiful collection of musicians who brought groove and talent to the stage not previously seen in that combination. The harmony of voices and the twang of an acoustic guitar were supported by the lightness of a jazz piano the warmth of a tenor saxophone. This group proved to the crowd why they’re one of the big names in the Denver scene.

A. Tom Collins

Where one horn once stood, now stood three, and A.Tom Collins and the Proletariat took the stage with their punk-tudes, upright bass, and raspy vocals. These guys were angry about something, probably the injustice in our class system since that’s what their name suggests.

Achille Lauro

Once the upright bass had departed, the seemingly over-dressed men (seen by all earlier in the evening) took the stage. I began to wish I had brought my lady friend because there’s no denying it, Achille Lauro was dance-y and classy.  Synth, pads, guitars, drums, and bass combined to create a blend of irresistible groove and passion.

The Knew

To round out the night, Denver’s The Knew brought the rock n’ roll. Both vocally and instrumentally, these guys have a sound that’s unmistakable. Having seen these guys (and watched Weilert interview them) at the Hi-Dive recently, I was excited for their set and it did not let me down.

click for more photos | Rachel James Project | Carbon Choir | 200 Million Years | Gangcharger | Monroe Monroe | John Common and The Blinding Flashes of Light | A. Tom Collins | Achille Lauro | The Knew

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1 comment for this entry:
  1. Keith Stevens

    It’s been over a year since my last update. I need to get on this more. It’s fun.

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