The concert last night at Larimer Lounge wasn't at all a bad way to start the week. I got the chance to see a couple new-to-me local bands and cap the night off with a national act. DJ Iridel was on the bill, and did spin on the outdoor stage, but I did not get a chance to hear what he was mixing, as I stayed inside to see the performing bands, so I won't comment on him. As for the rest, the more I familiarized myself with the bands leading up to the show yesterday, the greater my excitement grew, and when it came time to watch the performances, I'd say my expectations were reasonably met.
|Jeff McCollister of The Foot not only sang, but played bass and the keyboard|
The Foot was the first band to take the stage, and they were certainly an entertaining group. They corralled people to the stage area with a friendly introduction and a few quick jokes and then began to play their set. They brought a lot of energy to their live set and had a slightly unusual setup. Lead singer Jeff McCollister showed off his multi-instrumentalism by switching between bass and keyboards depending on the song. Otherwise, Phil Barrett and Drew Sowell would play lead and rhythm guitar respectively, while Noah Shomberg would maintain the drums. Although The Foot has a more straight traditional rock sound, they seemed to have a lot in common style-wise with the headlining band, getting a good reception from the crowd.
|The Foot took part in group drumming|
They played a good opening set mixing up a few songs off their album Primary Colors and The Hangman EP. I enjoyed the energy they played with and was especially fond of the songs "Johnny Got It Wrong" and "High Design". They wrapped up their opening set with "Can't Walk" which featured a group drum session - Jeff and Phil joined Noah at the drum set, all three pounding the drums and crashing symbols for a wild, crowd-pleasing finale.
Next on the stage was bluesy rockers Woodrose. These guys have the potential to be quite good with a little more polish. They had a fill-in bassist for the night, and it was evident that the group needed a bit more time to gel. Still, they had good energy and a great sound. Woodrose are definitely big fans of The Black Keys evidenced by their musical style. They even performed a cover of Richard Berry's "Have Love Will Travel" in the same style as The Black Keys.
I am a big fan of blues-rock, so I was happy to see some local representatives of the genre. They perhaps didn't have the crowd they needed that night though - most of the small crowd stood silent and still like stone statues throughout most of the set. Woodrose's original songs were still fun and I'm sure when the band becomes more cohesive, songs like "Federal Taxes" and "Easy Jewish Girl" will end up achieving the desired effect on the crowd. If you are a fan of blues rock, keep an eye out for Woodrose.
|Elijah Jones of The Constellations|
Finally it was time for the headliners, and it was clear that The Constellations were who the crowd was waiting to see all night. The Constellations have a fun-loving sound accompanied by party-centric lyrics that is best experienced in a live environment with a bunch of rowdy people. That's exactly what The Constellations had last night, and that seemed to fuel an intense and dynamic performance from this band. Singer Elijah Jones made it known the second he came on stage. He exclaimed "I'm here to party!" and the band wasted no time getting it started as they began the show like they start their album with "Setback".
|Trevor Birdsong of The Constellations|
They kept the show going with more high energy selections off their album. They kept the crowd dancing from song to song, and the crowd went especially wild for their single "We're Here to Save the Day". There were a lot of loyal fans there that night, and The Constellations showed their appreciation by dedicating many songs to individual fans in the audience, such as "Love is a Murder" and "Felicia".
|Jamie Gordon of The Constellations|
The Constellations mixed their set up a bit with a few cover songs marinated with their high energy multi-genre influenced southern fried sound. Their version of "Talking In Your Sleep" by The Romantics was a real crowd pleaser, and everyone knew what to do when they covered David Bowie's "Let's Dance". They kept the energy level high all night, yet somehow still managed to explode when it came to the finale.
|Elijah Jones spending every last bit of energy|
The Constellations finished the night with "Step Right Up" and used every last bit of energy they had left. Wes Hoffman was thumping the bass so hard he lost his strap. Jamie Gordon was mashing the keyboard with such force it nearly came off its stand. Trevor Birdsong lit his frets on fire with his fingers its a wonder he didn't snap his strings. Shabnam Bashiri got everyone to clap, dance and shake along with her. Elijah and Jamie joined Shane Human on the drums to perform a percussive epic. By the end, Elijah was singing from the floor. It was quite a performance and was the musical equivalent of a fireworks display.
The crowd wasn't the largest I've seen at the Larimer Lounge and they started out lukewarm for the opening bands. Still, I think The Foot and Woodrose did well to get the temperature slowly climbing in the venue. The Constellations did a phenomenal job with their performance, taking the timid crowd and bringing them to a boil by the end of the night. They lived up to their reputation, and by the end of it all, like someone had said in the crowd before, it almost felt like Monday was the new Friday.
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