Something Like Sound

Tag: 3OH!3

Weekly Roundup (Aug. 21)

by on Aug.21, 2009, under Blogs

Things around the blog have been going a bit slower for the past week, as I’ve been busy getting prepped for the new school year. This week we won’t be running a bit on upcoming shows (just look at last week’s, it’s still good). That said, enjoy the few things I found particularly interesting that weren’t long enough for full posts.

Photo by Tim Weilert

Everything Absent Or Distorted announced their final show ever. It’s going down on October 24, 2009 at the Bluebird (the venue where bands go to die, RIP Vaux & Hot IQs). The show will also be the release for their upcoming EP, The Lucky One. For more info, and to buy tickets, click here.

The Silent Years have a new remix up for their song “Vampires Bite The Hands That Feed Them” done by Deastro. It’s a frenzy of bleeps, bloops, and beats (quite enjoyable). A full stream of the song is available here, and the track may be purchased on iTunes.

3Oh!3 shot a new video, and it’s definitely… interesting? The Boulder-based boys got back to their Colorado ranching roots with footage of Sean Foreman mowing grass and riding a horse, watch below.

3OH!3 - STILL AROUND (Music Video)

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Festival Review: Warped Tour

by on Aug.11, 2009, under Concert Reviews

This review, like most things on this blog, will be multi-faceted. I’m going to try and cover the areas of live music review, overall social context, and public transportation.

To begin, I was fortunate enough to get 2 press passes to Warped Tour (unlike most of the other festivals this summer), so I brought along my friend and photographer, Patrick. Pat and I left Golden bright and early via the bus and, after getting on a bus that didn’t stop at Mile High, but went all the way to Auraria, arrived at Warped in time to get our passes, and see the first acts of the day.

Initially we ran all over the place, catching half a song here and there; just enough to get a couple decent photos. During this time we saw Chiodos, who managed to get a fairly energetic crowd for 11 am on a Sunday. More wandering and we caught a little bit of local band Vices I Admire, then it was off to Bayside.

Bayside put on a great set (it was also the first set that we stuck around for), starting things out with a NOFX cover, then moving in to some material from their Walking Wounded album. We tried to see Single File, but the crowds were just too much for the small stage they were playing, so we ended up seeing The Epilogues finish out the last couple of songs from their set.

We started kicking it old school with The Bouncing Souls. For a 20-year-old band, these guys certainly did not let age get in the way of putting on an energetic set of punk rock. At the urging of an enthusiastic guy in the press area, we decided to see Tat, a British group with a female lead. Their music did not dissapoint and the overall set was quite fun.

Up next was probably my favorite act for the entire day: Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band. Armed with a few resonators, a washboard, and a drum kit, the “big” band certainly knew how to play to the crowd. Rev. Peyton himself was such a character, the kind of guy you’d expect to see running a great BBQ joint some place in the South, but with enough attitude to still come across as a bit of a punk.

Another highlight had to be Bad Religion. Another band that has been around much longer than most of the tour’s patrons have been alive, Bad Religion appeared to be entirely comfortable and connected with the stage and the crowd. After they played “Sorrow” Pat and I headed over to see Big D and the Kids Table. We saw a lot of ska that day, but nobody else had their own backup dancers.

Underoath is one of those bands that all of my hardcore-music friends are in to. I decided I might as well give them a chance, and while their brand of heavy-hitting music played well with the audience, I was quickly ready for something else. Fortunately there was more great ska readily available at Streetlight Manifesto. With one of the most energetic brass sections I’ve seen in years, Streetlight gathered a crowd, then got it moving.

Alright, one more ska band, I promise. Less Than Jake was next, and their set reminded me a little bit of seeing Goldfinger back at E-days in ’08. It was rude punk/ska, ’nuff said. Finally it was time for the big hometown closers: 3Oh!3.

The clouds rolled in and lightning struck in the distance as the set began. Soon a few drops began to fall, until it became an all-out deluge of hail and rain. The band played on. Pat and I sought shelter, 3Oh!3 played through “Don’t Trust Me,” then the set was cut short. See our video of people running away in the rain to get a better feel. Other than the weather, the music was pretty decent, and everyone there was dancing, well done boys.

Now for the discussion on public transport. In our haste to get out of there Pat and I hopped on the first bus with the correct route number, not knowing it only went about 3/4 of the way. We found ourselves on west Colfax in the middle of the night; fortunately we have friends who graciously came to pick us up. The point is: RTD, while very useful, doesn’t have the most user-friendly routes on the west side of town, so be sure you know where your bus is going before you get on.

Ok, one last topic: the social context. I am really not that old (I was born in the late 80′s), but I felt old just being surrounded by thousands of teens all dressed in their Hot Topic clothing and (ususally) ridiculous hairstyles. Perhaps it’s my own tastes/views or just the current trends, but all the kids looked the same, and most of the pop bands they were there to see sounded the same (remember we stuck to the old school bands, not the newer pop bands).

In closing, I will say I had an excellent time at Warped Tour this year. I attribute this mostly to the fact that there were so many solid, older bands at the core of the festival to provide some actual musical value. Bad Religion, Bouncing Souls, etc.: these are the bands that have been going at it for decades, they are seasoned road-warriors and punk legends, it was almost awe-inspiring to see them practice their trade in a parking lot in the Queen City.

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Photo Essay: Tim at Warped

by on Aug.10, 2009, under Photos

Here are the photos I took yesterday, expect to see Pat’s (superior) photos tomorrow.

Bayside

The Epilogues

The Bouncing Souls

Tat

Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Bad Religion

Big D and the Kids Table

Underoath

Streetlight Manifesto

Less Than Jake

3Oh!3

Photos by Tim Weilert

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Festival Preview: Warped Tour, Part 1

by on Aug.07, 2009, under Blogs

15th Anniversary Art Print // Brian Ewing

Another year, another Warped Tour. I recall going to my first Warped a couple years back and being blown away by the likes of Thursday, Motion City Soundtrack, Rise Against, Against Me!… and the list goes on. It was unlike anything I’d ever been to (it was, after all, my first music festival). Nonstop music, ridiculous amounts of heat, and tons of freebies, it was all so great.

This year is certainly going to be another exciting one, because Pat and I get to cover Warped Tour for the blog. Here’s a quick look at some of the band we most want to see, and a few we’ll be interviewing.

3Oh!3: Say what you will, but these guys put on an excellent and energetic live show (I know, I’ve seen them twice in the last year). Hopefully we’ll get an interview (although everybody wants a piece of these guys since “Don’t Trust Me” became a best-seller).

Alexisonfire: Nothing quite like some good hardcore rock. As another band we will likely interview, Alexisonfire has been one of my favorites since I picked up their 2005 split with fellow Canadians Moneen.

Single File: Denver is well-represented on this year’s tour, as Single File continues to gain national attention with their brand of pop-rock. For a refresher, go listen to “Zombies Ate My Neighbors.”

Streetlight Manifesto: Ska is not dead, these guys are proof. Quite possibly one of the best bands from the third-wave ska scene, Streetlight always tears it up.

Underoath: Perhaps a little heavier than I normally go, Underoath is one of those bands that all of my friends say I need to see. I believe we’re also interviewing them.

Expect to see a few more of our picks tomorrow.

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Reflections on the Mile High Music Festival

by on Jul.20, 2009, under Concert Reviews

The Fray’s Isaac Slade // Photo by Tim Weilert

So here it is. After 2 incredible days (both incredibly musical and long), it’s time to look back on what stood out at this year’s Mile High Music Festival.

Saturday

From the first set I saw, I knew it was going to be a good day. Gregory Alan Isakov was a nice way to start, a sort of maudlin Bob Dylan, with a classy approach to playing music. The good vibes kept going as I went to see Rob Drabkin play his funky brand of pop-music. I got to see most of Matt Nathanson‘s set, although I missed “Car Crash” (he played it as I walked away). I took a bit of a break to interview Big Head Todd and the Monsters, then it was time to catch the end of the Gomez set (the few songs I saw were quite enjoyable). After talking with Rob Drabkin, I caught some of Ani Difranco‘s politically-charged brand of folk music. After taking a break for some much needed shade and water, I set off to see Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and was thoroughly impressed with the solid rock music I heard there.

The rest of the day was a bit frantic. After interviewing Dead Confederate, I rushed to catch up with the photographers for the Incubus set. I enjoyed hearing “Megalomaniac,” and I thought their cover of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” was the best way any band could end a set. I snuck away from Incubus for a quick listen at G. Love and Special Sauce, and I thought his hip-hop inspired alternative rock sound played well with the mood that afternoon. The lighting for photography was excellent as the sun set and Ben Harper and Relentless7 took the stage (anyone who can play lap steel that well has my respect).

I caught some of The Black Keys, although not enough to really get a grasp for their sound. Tool was interesting. I’m glad to say I’ve seen them (as are most of the people who were there), I was simply not a fan of their photo policy. Sure, they haven’t played a show in a few years, and this was a big event, but a little more humility would have gone a long way. Other than that, it certainly was trippy (the audio/visual experience was really indescribable).

Widespread Panic was definitely a good way to end the night. The down to earth, organic sounds those “old guys” made were simply mind-blowing. I doubt I have ever seen such amazing musicianship. Their set, however, was at the end of what was a very long day. So I stayed as long as I could, but soon had to head home to rest up for day 2.

Sunday

If I thought Saturday was packed, I didn’t even see Sunday coming. Straight out of the gates I saw alterna-rockers Strange Condition (first time I saw them play since opening for Love.45 4 or 5 years ago). It was a little too rowdy for a Sunday morning. Paper Bird was definitely what I was looking for. Self described as makers of “joyful” music, I was certainly feeling good listening to their beautiful harmonies and folk instruments. Honeyhoney was also a nice surprise, although I must say that they should consider picking up a few more band members, it would make for a better live set.

I listened to the first part of Jack’s Mannequin and they played the 3 songs of theirs I really like, so I was content with it. From contentment to utter amazement, my demeanour changed as I watched Dead Confederate unleash a wave of sound. Their grunge-tinged southern rock was what really woke me  up that day. I proceeded to see Jet play through a number of catchy tunes, and I stuck around just long enough to hear “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” I took some time off to recharge my batteries (both electrically and phyically), and do an interview with Paper Bird. I wandered a bit, catching some of Gogol Bordello, then headed off to see Buddy Guy.

It’s not every day that you can say you saw a blues legend. Buddy Guy certainly held up his reputation as he interwove raspy vocals with blues guitar. He was incredibly animated as he sang songs that unfolded more like stories from a book. I left a little early so I could catch DeVotcKa play some of their gypsy-inspired folk music. I found their use of theremin to be absolutely charming. Up next was the sexy, smooth dance beats of Thievery Corporation (I stayed long enough to hear “Lebanese Blonde” then I was off again. I tried to get in to 3Oh!3, but it was simply too packed. I ended up at Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and once again was impressed by the steel guitar. At this point I took another break to hydrate and prepare for the barrage that was the rest of the day.

I briefly saw Matisyahu and Gov’t Mule before ending up at Pepper. The storm clouds by this point were looking rather ominous, everyone was praying for the storm to pass. Pepper began to play, the wind picked up and the crowd rocked out. Fortunately the storm quickly turned south and there was no serious rainfall. Finally it was time for The Fray. Going in to the festival weekend I had my doubts about this group. My presumptions quickly faded away as they took the stage. Not only were they right-on music-wise, but also visually. Their set (which I believe they bought from U2) was absolutely stunning, with lights matching the mood of the music incredibly well. As The Fray finished up I decided to head home (I opted to skip Widespread Panic’s Sunday set, since I was simply exhausted and had seen them the night before).

So what’s the takeaway? Denver is a music city, with some rather eclectic tastes. It makes sense that the Mile High Music Festival would have the lineup it had, because it reflects well on the city’s roots. Throughout the entire weekend, the experience was colorful and uniquely Coloradoan.

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Local Bands You Should Know

by on Apr.17, 2009, under "Best of" Lists, Blogs

Edit: It looks like the Hot IQs are breaking up after their June 19 show at the Bluebird (we learned the news from Backbeat Online here) I know we already mentioned this as a must see show, but we’re moving it up to “do not miss this show or you will never forgive yourself” status.

Further Edit: We took Fear Before, 3Oh!3, and Flobots off the list because you probably already know them.

So last month we had extensive coverage of one of my favorite DIY bands from Denver, Young Coyotes. This got me thinking, “Who are the other groups people should know about?” Well, then today Dave Herrera over at Westword asked us to send in our nominations for the 2009 Westword Music Showcase, here’s who we chose. You might have heard of some of these groups, some you don’t know. Hopefully we’ll be able to work with these bands to bring you the best new music from the Denver scene all summer long.

1. Young Coyotes
2. Hot IQs
3. Ian Cooke
4. Pee Pee
5. Bad Weather California
6. Born In The Flood / The Wheel
7. The Photo Atlas
8. Hearts of Palm (have apparently broken up too)
9. Meese
10. Andrea Ball
11. Richard Ingersoll
12. Danielle Ate The Sandwich
13. The Heyday
14. Paper Bird
15. Trace Bundy
16. Bela Karoli
17. Laura Goldhamer
18. Roe
19. Brave Saint Saturn
20. Rob Drabkin

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Top 10 Albums of 2008

by on Jan.19, 2009, under "Best of" Lists

issue13_top10-timweilert

This is a collaborative article, it’s the work of Jake, Spencer and myself.

Top Ten Mainstream Albums

1. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

Although a debut album, the Fleet Foxes sound more mature and together on their self-titled release than most bands ever sound. Harmonically, the band sounds almost immaculate. They create an ethereal mood which is hard to lose after listening to the album. Although lyrically straightforward, the music is the important part of this album and it is executed astonishingly well. Listen to “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song,” “White Winter Hymnal,” and “He Doesn’t Know Why.” -JR

2. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

The New York indie scene broke out nationally this year, and leading the wave was Vampire Weekend. Their sweater-vested semi-classical approach to music is infused with African drum beats and subtle pop-culture references. Catchy melodies and lyrics match the equally well orchestrated instruments on VW’s first album. Listen to “Mansard Roof,” “A-Punk,” and “I Stand Corrected.” -TW

3. Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords

It’s not often that a comedy album makes the top ten albums list for a year, but Flight of the Conchord’s self-titled album is more than your average comedy album. The first release from the New Zealand duo is satirical and sarcastic in every sense; even the music mocks popular styles. The songs are simultaneously well-produced musically and hilarious lyrically. Listen to “Think About It,” “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros,” and “Business Time.” -JR

4. Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak

Innovation occurs when risks are taken. Kanye’s newest record does not pick up where 2007′s Graduation left off, but instead cuts a new track. Markedly simpler in production, 808s relies heavily on three things: drum machines, lyrics, and auto-tune. This move produced one of the most honest sounding hip-hop records released last year. Listen to “Paranoid,” “Street Lights,” and “RoboCop.” -TW

5. Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs

A mark of a great song is when the same melody from it can be repeatedly played without losing interest. Death Cab for Cutie tested this theory multiple occasions on this album and proved it true. Although being deceptively simple, many songs from this album have the potential to stay around for years. With a superb blend of light vocals and mixed instruments, this album will not soon be forgotten. Listen to “Cath…” and “No Sunlight.” -SN

6. TV On The Radio – Dear Science

In their newest album, TV On The Radio brilliantly uses drum loops and deep, eerie lyrics to present an interesting and fun record. Dear Science is at times chaotic, at times somber, and at times full of grandiose beauty. At all times, however, it is intelligent, entertaining, and deeply poignant. Listen to “Lover’s Day,” “Golden Age,” and “Halfway Home.” -JR

7. Anberlin – New Surrender

Shifting into a more mainstream sound has not stopped Anberlin from continuing their stream of catchy lyrics and melodies. Despite a deeper dependence on a synthesizer, Anberlin’s music continues to be driven by fast guitars and unforgettable lyrics. Listen to “Breaking” and “Haight St.” -SN

8. Coldplay – Viva La Vida (Or Death and All His Friends)

Hailed as the new U2, Coldplay shot to stardom unflinchingly with their previous albums. Holding up under the intense expectations of fans and critics alike, Viva la Vida portrays Coldplay’s classic sound in some songs, while musically progressing in others. Listen to “Lost!” and “Violet Hill.” -SN

9. Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns

Snow Patrol combines a fast-paced alternative rock sound with simple melodies and song structures for a relaxing album. With an unusual singing style that varies through the album, A Hundred Million Suns keeps originality close to its core. Listen to “If There’s a Rocket Tie Me To It” and “Disaster Button.” ­-SN

10. I Hate Kate – Embrace The Curse

This record mixes 80′s new wave with modern pop to produce an enjoyable listening experience. Perhaps one of the best parts of this album is that there is definite ebb and flow; not every song sounds the same. Listen to “Bed of Black Roses,” “It’s You,” and “I’m In Love With A Sociopath.” -TW

Albums You Should Know

1. Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line

With a strong string section composed of a violin and a cello, Ra Ra Riot’s quick yet relaxed sound is excellent for studying, but is also upbeat enough to dance to. With a perfect blend of all instruments, they skillfully move from songs reminiscent of the Beatles to an 80′s style synthesis-driven song to a Kate Bush cover written in waltz time. The phenomenal chemistry of the band is well represented by all aspects of the album. Listen to “Dying is Fine” and “St. Peter’s Day Festival.” -SN

2. Sigur Rós -Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Beautiful and unique soundscapes fill Icelandic band Sigur Rós’s newest release. Jónsi Birgisson’s falsetto voice at times soars above the background music in a piercing and intense way. Other times, he matches the tone and intensity of the sound he is singing with, creating some of the most ethereal and stunning sounds being produced by any band today. Listen to “Gobbledigook,” “Við spilum endalaust,” and “Suð í eyrum.” -JR

3. Colour Revolt – Plunder, Beg & Curse

Realization, raw vocals, and silvery-sounding guitars fill this record. Lyrically reminiscent of the epic poems, it maintains timeless ideas about the frailty of humanity and the fleeting nature of temptation. Musically, singer Jesse Coppenbarger’s intense delivery matches the well-produced instrumentation. Even with a few exceptionally strong tracks, this album should be taken as a whole. Listen to “Moses of the South,” “A Siren,” and “What Will Come of Us?” -TW

4. The Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride

In their 16th album, The Mountain Goats continue to impress with deep and touching lyrics, complimented with equally touching melodies. Lead singer John Darnielle’s vocal skills, which allow him to move from a warbled, but pure, quiet to a confident, and sometimes angry, crescendo, drive the album. However, brilliant guitar and drum playing accent the music more readily in any previous Mountain Goats releases. Listen to “San Bernadino,” “Heretic Pride,” and “So Desperate.” ­-JR

5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!

After a four year hiatus, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds returned in 2008 with their 14th studio album. In it, the band seems to forget that twenty-year-old groups are supposed to put out predictable albums, instead producing what may be their most exciting release to date. Lead singer Cave sounds like any punk rock frontman should – full of swagger and an attitude which compliments the driving bass and drum beats. Listen to “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!,” “Albert Goes West,” and “We Call Upon the Author.” -JR

6. Nada Surf – Lucky

Nada Surf is one of those bands that has been around for over 10 years and has not released a bad record. Lucky showcases a more mature and developed sound with beautiful melodies and bright lyrics. Listen to “Whose Authority,” “Weightless,” and “Are You Lightning?” -TW

7. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges

If My Morning Jacket wanted to make an album which was easily pigeon-holed, they wouldn’t have made Evil Urges. They spend time flirting with psychedelic hippie rock, play with folk roots, and throw in some late-80s electronica. However, each song is without genre, and distinctly My Morning Jacket. Listen to “I’m Amazed,” “Evil Urges,” and “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pts. 1 & 2.” -JR

8. The New Frontiers – Mending

A bold mix of indie-pop and alt-country, the only full length release of the now-disbanded New Frontiers is a monument to their musical prowess. Mending covers a broad range of emotions and poses deep questions. Listen to “Black Lungs,” “This Is My Home,” and “Who Will Give Us Love?” -TW

9. We Shot The Moon – Fear And Love

Formed in the wake of Waking Ashland’s breakup in 2007, We Shot the Moon managed to produce a well-put together album within a year. The piano-based songs are well-balanced with their lyrical style. Uplifting and upbeat, their songs leave the listener feeling quite positive. Listen to “LTFP” and “Julie.” -SN

10. The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound

The ’59 Sound channels the classic sound of Bruce Springsteen while adding straightforward punk sensibility and style. This record inspires a certain sense of nostalgia with enjoyable and danceable tunes. Listen to “Old White Lincoln,” “The ’59 Sound,” and “Miles Davis & The Cool.” -TW

Local Releases of Note

3OH!3 – Want

In an innovative fusion of rap and techno, these two white guys from Boulder certainly have gained massive popularity across Colorado. Selling out their highly energetic shows quickly, 3OH!3 has developed a large fan base in this state. Their album goes from one dance-worthy song to another with impossible to forget melodies. Listen to “I Can’t Do It Alone” and “Starstrukk.” -SN

Fear Before – Fear Before

Hardcore music has never been more accessible than with Fear Before’s newest release. Opting to focus more on melody and lyrics instead of sheer heavy sounds, this record is enjoyable even outside of a mosh pit. Listen to “Treeman” and “Review Our Lives (Epic).” -TW

DeVotchKa – A Mad & Faithful Telling

DeVotchKa, the Denver band made famous by their appearance on the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack, continues to use unique instrumentation and imitate unique music styles very effectively in their newest album. They incorporate Eastern European, Spanish, Mexican, and American music in a unique and interesting way. Listen to “Basso Profundo” and “Along the Way.” -JR

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Concert Review: 3OH!3 sold out at the Gothic

by on Nov.03, 2008, under Concert Reviews

concert3oh3-3-timweilertWhat happens when you take several hundred young people, cram them all into a venue, and add some of the best hip-hop and dance music Colorado has to offer? Answer: You get the epic concert that was 3OH!3 at the Gothic Theater last Saturday.

As part of a two-night stay at the Gothic, Boulder based rap-duo 3OH!3 brought their unique brand of electro-pop-dance infused hip hop to Denver. Tickets for the first night, Halloween, sold out quickly, and I was fortunate enough to secure tickets to the second night’s show. A quick word to the wise: 3OH!3 has sold out every Colorado venue for the last several months. If you want to see them, get tickets as soon as they go on sale.

concert3oh3-2-timweilertThe night began with the old-school hip-hop styling of The Pirate Signal, a Denver based MC and DJ team. After spinning some of the hottest new vinyl, including M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” the duo warmed up the growing crowd with a few songs. Up next was another Denver dance-scene musician, The Chain Gang of 1974. The crowd really got moving as heavy beats and catchy lyrics filled the warm, sticky air. Chain Gang’s best song was by far “We At The Disco,” although their entire set was strong, helping to build the anticipation toward the main act of the night.

However, there was still one more band before 3OH!3 took the stage: Innerpartysystem. The Philadelphia based band had one of the most intense light shows I have ever seen. In addition to using fog machines, they used computerized spotlights, lasers, strobes and lightboxes to supplement their brand of dance music. It was entertaining to watch, but unfortunately Innerpartysystem’s set was not as energetic as what Chain Gang of 1974 had brought.

concert3oh3-4-timweilertJust when I thought things were starting to wind down, the main event happened. As 3OH!3 took the stage, everyone in the packed venue flashed the group’s hand sign. From there, it was a non-stop dance-o-thon. The crowd danced and sang along to some of the group’s hits, such as “Punkb*tch,” “Chokechain” and “I’m Not Your Boyfriend Baby.” Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte performed numerous dance stunts while singing. As their set came to a close, everyone at the Gothic knew the night wasn’t over. 3OH!3 came back and played four more songs for an encore, including radio hits “Holler Till You Pass Out” and “Don’t Trust Me.”

As someone who usually does not go for hip-hop and dance music, I had initially been skeptical of Colorado’s newest musical phenomenon. However, after seeing their intense live show, I must say that it was one of the most enjoyable concerts I have ever attended. Try to catch the duo next time they play a show here in Colorado, and good luck getting tickets.

concert3oh3-1-timweilert

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The Denver Music Scene

by on Jun.03, 2008, under Blogs

This is a full page I wrote for The Oredigger’s summer issue in 2008. It was part of an issue sent to incoming freshman to get them informed about what living in Denver is really like.

VENUES:

General Information:

The Denver music scene would not exist if it were not for the tireless efforts of bands, promoters, and venues. Most music venues in the mile high city are also historical landmarks, renovated with modern equipment, but still paying homage to their roots.

Downtown Denver:

The Marquis

Among the bars and clubs of downtown sits an all ages venue that has played host to some of the hottest bands from across the country. The Marquis, a venue operated by promotions company Soda Jerk Presents, features a separate bar and pizzeria so that concertgoers of any age can have a good time. While the venue is rather small, especially when compared to other Denver music outlets, the intimate setting allows for fans experience bands in a way that is not possible at larger concert halls. Featured acts have included mewithoutYou, Sherwood, Saosin, and many other bands popular to the “MySpace generation.”

The Denver Center For The Performing Arts

Home to ten performance venues and over 10,000 seats, the Denver Center For the Performing Arts is one of the mile high city’s gems. Performances at the center occur every week and range from opera, to classical music, and even Broadway productions. Students at the Colorado School of Mines have been given opportunities to experience productions, such as Spamalot, and concerts by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at discounted prices. Whether you’re on a date, or just want to dress up for a show, the Denver Center For the Performing Arts is a classy venue for enjoying the finer parts of society and culture.

Capitol Hill:

The Fillmore Auditorium

This historic venue on the hill has a colorful history and has played host to some of the world’s most famous acts. Built near the turn of the 20th century, the Fillmore underwent many changes until the current owners decided to model it after the famous San Francisco music venue. As one of the largest venues in Denver, the Fillmore has hosted the likes of Feist, Rise Against, Brand New, Motion City Soundtrack, and other bands that have become popular on both mainstream radio and television. Concertgoers should expect to pay more for tickets to Fillmore shows, but oftentimes the extra cost is worth seeing some of the most popular and innovative groups performing today.

The Ogden

Another historic venue on Capitol Hill, the Ogden was built in 1913, used for performances and movie showings until it went under new ownership in 1993. At that point the venue became a hot spot for concerts. The Ogden boasts an innovative theater design with balconies and a tiered main general admission area. Concerts are moderately priced and have featured the likes of Green Day, Ben Harper, Allman Brothers Band, Blink 182, Smashing Pumpkins, and the Goo Goo Dolls.

South Denver:

The Gothic

The golden age of cinema birthed the Gothic. During the 1920’s the theater served as a one of the main entertainment spots on southern Broadway. Similar to the Ogden and Fillmore, the Gothic switched uses and ownership several times before becoming what it is today. The mid-sized concert hall features balconies and a tiered main area (similar to the Ogden). Bands that have played the Gothic include indie legends Nada Surf and Built To Spill, in addition to Say Anything, Saves The Day, Lucero, Mute Math, Talib Kweli, and countless other up-and-coming acts.

Golden/Morrison:

Red Rocks Amphitheater

The ancient sandstone monoliths that form the natural amphitheater at Red Rocks have provided an awe-inspiring venue for musicians for over 100 years. The current configuration of Red Rocks came about when Franklin Roosevelt and his “New Deal” plan created the Civilian Conservation Corps, who developed the mountain area into a working performance center during the 1940’s. As one of the best outdoor venues in the world, Red Rocks has seen the likes of The Beatles, U2, The Fray, Muse, and many other historic acts. The 2008 concert season at Red Rocks includes the likes of Death Cab For Cutie and R.E.M. While tickets to Red Rocks shows usually start in the low $40 range, the park can be visited for free when there are no events happening.

BANDS:

General Information:

In recent years the Denver music scene has become more prominent on a national and world level. While some Denver-based bands, like The Fray, have found mainstream success, there are countless other bands that are bound to be the “next big thing.”

The Heyday

The fresh faced musicians that compose The Heyday play in a fashion that is similar to The Format or Limbeck. While they have not hit national charts or mainstream radio yet, The Heyday have toured extensively and worked hard to develop their upbeat sound. Dave Hererra, music editor for Denver’s entertainment magazine Westword called the band “the next generation Fray” after only a handful shows. With ambitious plans of touring all summer in support of their newly released self-titled album, The Heyday are on their way to spreading their fun-filled concert experience across the country.

Flobots

“There’s A War Going On For Your Mind,” the first track on the Flobots breakthrough record Fight With Tools, showcases the group’s socially conscious approach to hip hop. With a fresh mix of guitars, horns, and lyrics, this group has recently caught the attention of major record label Universal Republic Records. Their song “Handlebars” has seen national mainstream radio play and they regularly sell out shows across the country. However, the Flobots have not let success change their cause. From www.flobots.com, “Not only did they [Universal Republic Records] want to release Fight With Tools untouched, but they were excited to help us continue to integrate music, activism, and community-building.” The Flobots have definitely put Denver on the map for hip hop, a sentiment echoed by Chuck D. from group Public Enemy. “We played Boulder, CO,” said Chuck D., “the opening band were a great group named the Flobots who, along with some great musicianship and rhyme flow, set the stage well with political commentary.”

3OH!3

One part Lil Jon, another part Beastie Boys, 3OH!3 have brought their unique style of crunk-rap and hip-hop to Denver. The duo, composed of Matt Motte and Sean Foreman got their start in Boulder, but have branched out nationally and will be appearing on the 2008 Warped Tour. Their tunes are catchy and entertaining, while their beats are excellent for dancing or partying. Although their style of music might seem like a better fit in a city such as Atlanta, they have found a solid fan base in Denver. Perhaps part of their success has been their ability to turn heads and cause people to stop and listen. 3OH!3 have a self-titled album to their credit and a creative hand signal that represents the Denver area code.

The Photo Atlas

In recent years, experimental dance music has become increasingly popular part of the Denver music scene. Leading this movement is a group of four guys who call themselves The Photo Atlas. A blend of Bloc Party and At The Drive-In, The Photo Atlas have played national tours and festivals in support of their album No, Not Me, Never available from Stolen Transmission Records. Most recently, The Photo Atlas played at the Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey and SXSW in Austin, Texas. This summer they are going on tour again, but will return to Colorado for the Monolith Festival at Red Rocks in September.

Single File

While Single File got their start in Denver, they almost gave up music all together. While the three members of Single File were in high school they began playing music together as a jazz trio. However this didn’t last and soon enough they had moved to separate parts of the country to pursue their own interests. However, they reunited in 2003 and branched out in a new direction. Single File brought their unique brand of pop-punk to CSM in 2007, during the E-Days Concert. At that point they were beginning to break out. Soon after they signed a record deal with Reprise Records and released their EP No More Sad Face. With their EP and hit song “Zombies Ate My Neighbors,” Single File are going on the road this summer with the Warped Tour.

Fear Before The March of Flames

While the Denver music scene has seen quite a bit of change along with new sounds and acts, one thing has remained constant: quality hardcore music. Through the years Denver has shown itself to be a place that loves the heavy hitting sound of hardcore musicians, but has also been a major player in the post-hardcore and experimental scenes. Bands such as Fear Before The March of Flames have become a nationally successful the post-hardcore post-hardcore band. They have released three albums on Equal Vision Records and toured with the likes of Poison The Well, Saosin, The Blood Brothers, and Bear Vs. Shark. Their sound is a mix of heavy guitars and heavier vocals. Live, Fear Before The March of Flames can get an entire venue moving with moshing and head-banging in a fashion that is reminiscent of some of the first punk and hardcore bands.

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