Tag: Brand New
Oh the subjectivity! Trying to decide on my favorite shows from the last few years is truly a difficult proposition. For this post I’m just going to talk about shows that were not a part of bigger festivals. These shows serve as a sampling of events that had such an impact that I can still remember them today.
Hot IQs – Farewell show at The Bluebird – June 19, 2009: The first Denver band I ever got in to was Hot IQs. I would listen to them on KCSU in Fort Collins when I was in high school. I saw them a few times before their farewell show, and every time was something special. Their at-capacity grand finale at the Bluebird was no exception: burlesque dancers, a Cookie Monster costume, and some of the catchiest pop-rock this city has ever known.
Hot Congress Prevue – Patrick Kelly’s Apartment – October 16, 2009: Pulling up to the ill-kept apartment building on Pearl St. had me second-guessing my choice to go downtown until I got inside and experienced the wild house party thrown by Hot Congress. That night introduced me to a bunch of great acts: Old Radio (now Amazing Twin), Night of Joy, the Jim Jims, and Fissure Mystic.
Everything Absent or Distorted – Farewell show at the Bluebird – October 24, 2009: I cannot remember a more raucous, energetic, and ultimately melancholy show than EAoD’s last big gig. Playing through every song they had ever written (and then some), the 11+ members of EAoD kept going until nearly 3 am.
Brand New – The Fillmore – January 30, 2010: Another throw back to my high school years, Brand New has always had a special place in my music library. As I grew up my tastes changed and Brand New changed along with them. No longer an emo-troupe, they brought their newer style of manic Lonesome Crowded West-inspired music to the Fillmore in a set that celebrated the new while appreciating the old.
Tjutjuna & Fissure Mystic – 7″ Split release at Meadowlark – February 5, 2010: Apart from Dick Dale (king of the surf guitar), the loudest show I have ever been to was Tjutjuna at the Meadowlark. With Woodsman and Fissure Mystic opening, it was certainly a night of intense psych the likes of which I have seldom seen replicated.
Julian Lynch – The Low Key – May 20, 2010: On an unassuming street in north Fort Collins sat a rather normal looking house. This was no ordinary house, it was the residence of Matt Sage who had dubbed it “The Lowkey.” During his time there Matt hosted shows for the underground and experimental alike. I happened to be in Ft. Collins one summer when Julian Lynch came through for a set of experimental tunes. I still remember sitting in that basement taking in the sound and color.
Denver Does Denver 2010 – August 28, 2010: It was fitting that my return from Chicago was marked by a showcase of Denver music and art. Hearing Safe Boating is No Accident take on Pee Pee, Pink Hawks doing Bad Weather California, and the Flobots performing Hot IQs made this an unforgettable event.
Sufjan Stevens – The Paramount – November 2, 2010: Last fall was undoubtedly the hardest academic semester I ever undertook. This had me feeling down on most things, concerts included. Fortunately I was lifted out of my funk by the prolific Sufjan Stevens. This performance helped me realize how magnificent The Age of Adz really is.
Hello Kavita – Farewell show at the Hi-Dive – December 28, 2010: Of all the times I saw Hello Kavita, this one was my favorite. Not only did Roger, Roll open (it was their farewell show too), but Hello Kavita played one of the fullest sets I can recall. From old and new originals, to Steely Dan covers, and a mash-up of “Colorado” with Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al,” it was Hello Kavita at their best.
Bad Weather California – Rhinoceropolis – February 18, 2011: I will close with this show, because it stands as a harbinger of things to come. While I only went to the Rhinoceropolis a few times during the life of SLS, I was always impressed by the nature of the place: it is a venue that encourages innovation. Bad Weather California has played the warehouse space more times than most, and as the group prepares for the release of their new full-length I can’t help but wonder where they’ll go and what kind of audience they’ll reach.
The video quality on my point-and-shoot isn’t very good, but the audio is decent (I did stand near the auditory “sweet spot” in the venue when I took this clip). As you can see, the crowd was quite energized from “Sic Transit Gloria,” one of Brand New’s more popular songs.
Long Island-based Brand New is one of those groups that cannot be easily described in words or photos. Rather than simply putting on a concert, a Brand New show is more of a full-body experience. Hardcore fans scream every lyric as they push and claw their way to be near the stage. The music pounding out of the speakers is not quite the same as the emo-tinged anthems of years gone by, it is more raw, it is more free, it is brand new.
With their newest record, Daisy, Brand New toured the U.S. this past fall with the support of Atlanta-based Manchester Orchestra. Unfortunately for concertgoers in Salt Lake City and Denver those dates were postponed due to illness. Saturday night, nearly four months after the original date, Brand New returned to Denver.
The momentum of the evening really began to pick up when Manchester Orchestra took the stage. For a brief moment I thought I had been transported back to the early 90’s, to a Nirvana concert. However, the lyrics I heard were not reminiscent of nihilistic teenage angst, but rather turned out to be deep and thought-provoking. “Where Have You Been” is always the highlight of a M.O. set, and that night’s performance was no exception. Toward the end of the song (on the big build-up part) they had 4 drummers going simultaneously; it was a sight to see and a sound to (literally) feel.
I was unsure what to expect from Brand New. This particular show was my third time seeing them, and I anticipated they would play heavily from Daisy. Much to my surprise front-man Jesse Lacey started the set with “Soco Amaretto Lime,” a soft number from 2001’s Your Favorite Weapon.
From then on they pulled out all the stops. With each song the crowd never appeared to grow weary despite singing/yelling along and a generous amount of “rocking out.” Highlights included “Sic Transit Gloria (Glory Fades)” going straight in to “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” and set closers “Jude Law and a Semester Abroad” and “Seventy Times 7.”
Looking back on the night as a whole I can say confidently that this was the best performance I have seen from Brand New. While they did showcase quite a bit of their new material (“Vices” was my personal favorite from that bunch), the group stayed true to their roots and fan base. For anyone who is unfamiliar with Brand New, go out listen to 2003’s Deja Entendu, the record that introduced me to their unique style and caused me to fall in love with their live set.
For those who are interested, Long-Island based Brand New will be in Denver on Saturday, January 30. This show was rescheduled after the group missed the Denver date of their fall tour a few months ago. Tickets are still available via this website. We will be there, photographing and reviewing the show. Also playing that night: Manchester Orchestra and Dusty Rhodes.