The wait is over, Halloween is finally here! As usual, despite it being on a Monday night, Denver has plenty of options to party with live music. It was tough to sort out all the possible places to go tonight, but when I saw what was happening at the Larimer Lounge a while back, I knew that was where I wanted to be. The Larimer Lounge will be hosting a trio of indie rock bands that are sure to put on a high energy show, and although I've seen each band before, I'm finally getting a chance to see each in a more ideal setting, with the added atmosphere and mystique of Halloween.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is actually the very first band I ever wrote about on this blog. The first time I saw this Portland based band, I had no idea who they were and didn't enjoy their performance as much as I could have because I didn't know what I was getting into. I wrote about how I regretted not checking them out beforehand, so when I found out they were coming back to town, I knew I had to go see them, because this time I definitely know how great they are. I can't wait to enjoy their lo-fi indie-pop goodness again. They have an infectious eccentricity about them; check out "Thought Ballune" and "Nerve Damage!".
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Thought Ballune by TheSoundsOfSweetNothing
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Nerve Damage! by TheSoundsOfSweetNothing

Gauntlet Hair is a local indie rock band I first had a chance to see at Denver After Dark. These guys have an awesome brand of energetic noise-rock driven by unique guitar work, drummed samples, and heavily reverberated vocals. They sound great and put on a heck of a show. Check out "Top Bunk" and "Keep Time".
Gauntlet Hair "Top Bunk" by DOJAGSC
Gauntlet Hair "Keep Time" by DOJAGSC

School Knights is a local band from Boulder I also saw for the first time at Denver After Dark. The first time I heard them I didn't know what to expect, but this time I am much more prepared. These guys perform high-energy indie punk with a lo-fi vibe and carefree attitude. It's almost like a raw garage version of coastal surf rock, and it should be an awesome way to start the show. Check out "Fuck The Beach" and "GhostKid".
05 Fuck The Beach.mp3 by DRACULA HORSE
06 GhostKid.mp3 by DRACULA HORSE

The Larimer Lounge doors open at 8:00PM, and the music starts around 9:00PM. The show is 21+ and tickets are $15 at the door.
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Sometimes you can find great music in the unlikeliest of places. I'd never been to the Lion's Lair before Thursday night, even though I'd passed by the place many times. Stepping inside for the first time, I wasn't sure how it'd work as a venue. Inside was a massive island-style bar that took up most of the space. Most of the patrons were enjoying drinks and watching baseball, which went on for longer than I expected. In fact, the first band didn't start until after the game that night finished - an hour and a half past the scheduled start time. That was a major clue that the place was definitely more bar than venue. Hussle Club was absent that night, something that must have happened a while ago but was never updated anywhere. That was another clue that music may be the secondary purpose here, so I began to wonder what might be in store when the first band finally took their places on the small stage hidden in the corner of the bar.

Big Tree

Big Tree was up first, taking the role of the headliners for the night's show. This five piece indie-pop band had Kaila McIntyre-Bader on vocals/piano, Anna Ghezzi on vocals/glockenspiel, Dan Pirello on guitar, Luke Bace on vocals/bass, and Colin Fahrner on drums. Once they began to play, all my concerns about the setting vanished as I got lost in their immaculate sound. The band used a combination of retro and contemporary rock styles to make something that sounded like a modern rock twisted version of '60s sunshine pop. Their songs were driven by tight vocal harmonies and jazzy piano wrapped around blues-rock styled guitar, bass and drums.

Big Tree

It was very refreshing to hear, like the band channeled the style and spirit of groovy jazz piano-driven vocal pop, but instead of keeping it quaint which could make them sound campy, they kicked up the energy and attitude with bluesy indie rock 'n' roll making the package pleasingly different.  Big Tree opened their set with the syncopated rhythms and crisp harmonies of "Move To The Mountains", a song from their first self-titled album that blends psychedelic funk with vocal pop very contagiously and did well to introduce the audience to what comprises this band's characteristic musical style.

Big Tree

Up next came "This Fall" from Big Tree's new sophomore album This New Year, still featuring the hypnotic vocal-pop harmonies but driven by a more contemporary indie rock sound. I really enjoyed "The Concurrence of All Things" because its unusual time-signature enhanced the retro jazz piano feel of the song and really gave it that old sunshine pop framework, but the guitar work kept the song modern. "Seattle Bound" and "Ah Ah Ah" had a similar stylistic balance that made them standout songs as well. I also liked how they finished their set with the more uptempo pieces "Cap'n Ted" and "Little Brother" that really brought out the rock 'n' roll aspect of their sound. "Little Brother" was an awesome finishing piece, as the band played an extended version with an instrumental breakdown that elevated the song to epic status.

Big Tree

Big Tree definitely had a clearly defined sound going for them that is apart from what anyone else is currently doing. They also seem to have a strong dynamic with each other, making it easy for the crowd to feel their energy emanating from stage. All together, they make for a talented, quite polished and likable group that can deliver a very enjoyable music experience with their unique style of songs. I was very impressed with their music and very glad that I was able to hear them and pretty astonished that I saw them at Lion's Lair of all places. If you are into indie-pop and/or music with a '60s throwback feel, seek out Big Tree - they are very good at what they do.

Number Station

Local psych-rock band Number Station came up next to close out the night. It was a performance I was looking forward to with great curiosity, because it was the first time I've reviewed a band I've seen before after major line-up changes, giving me the ability to do some compare and contrast. I saw Number Station a couple times back in August, and since then two members have left the band and two new faces have taken their place. Jay McBurney slid over from bass to guitar to make room for new bassist John Jarvinen and Kate Whysner joined the band as the new vocalist. Thursday night's show was the first live performance of this new iteration of Number Station.

Being the first time this new version of the group performed live meant they did not quite have the same cohesion that the previous group I saw did, but that was completely understandable as that will take some time to redevelop. Although much of the performed material were songs I've heard this band play before, they had a considerably different feel to them during this performance. The first thing I noticed was that the tone of the band seemed different - less dark and not really sludgey. The guitars did not seem as heavy or distorted - the riffs seemed to have a more subdued attitude about them.

It seemed strange to me not seeing Jay on bass. His somewhat stoic demeanor worked well on the bass but seems to sap a little life out of the guitar. Musically, he seemed to play well, but the dynamic seemed a little off especially compared to how Tom, Adam and John moved about on stage with their respective instruments. Kate seems to still be finding her presence behind the microphone. Her vocals are good, but too clean and don't seem to have conviction. I understand she is still learning the songs, so I'll just say she needs to develop a strong connection to the words she is singing, because as of now I didn't feel any conviction. Personally, I really liked the very dark, moody and almost twisted vocal delivery I heard from this band before, and right now I think the vocals are delivered straightforwardly with too much sparkle.

Number Station

Because of those things, the performance of the older songs I heard before just weren't quite what I'd hoped to hear Thursday night.  However, the new song "Still I Love You" stood out because it seemed to fit the new line-up of the band better. The song has a more solemn, introspective mood driven by a slower tempo and bluesy guitars that gives Kate the ability to sing more soulfully. I really think that a softer more soulful vocal delivery is Kate's strength - she had much more conviction and delivered better energy throughout that song. I suppose it's up to the band to figure which way they want to lean or if somehow both moody darkness and bluesy soul can coexist. I'd like to see this band again after a little bit of time when they form a more solid identity. The foundation is there, but the rest of the structure is still to come.

See more pictures from this show in the Facebook photo album. Like the Concerted Effort page to stay up to date.
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When Halloween is on Monday it certainly stretches the festivities out into a several day event. I am continuing this live music marathon tonight at the Hi-Dive, and tonight's Halloween soundtrack will be a mix of indie rock bands. It'll be an interesting mix of music; two folk inspired alt-rock bands and one that is good old hard rock 'n' roll - a great way to rock out the day before All Hallow's Eve.

The War On Drugs will be headlining the show, a four-piece band from Philadelphia. This band has cleverly mated the sounds of modern alt-rock and post-punk with overtones of folk and Americana. The result is a charming sound with supercharged energy - a true hybrid sound that doesn't quite fit into any other category. Check out "Baby Missiles" and "Taking The Farm".
The War on Drugs - Baby Missiles by One Thirty BPM
The War On Drugs "Come to the City" MP3 by The FADER

Purling Hiss is a three piece band from Philadelphia that specializes in noisy guitar driven rock 'n' roll with a punk garage attitude. Their in your face sound conjures up the rawest emotions of rock, delivered to your ears in an honest lo-fi fashion. This is definitely high-energy Halloween-type rock 'n' roll. Check out "The Hoodoo" and "Passenger Queen".
The Hoodoo by TheDeliPhilly2
PURLING HISS - Passenger Queen by TUSK Festival

Carter Tanton is a singer-songwriter from Baltimore. He has released an album Freeclouds, a collection of songs that have an indie folk-rock backbone but include distorted rock style guitar, synths and modest use of samples. Many of the songs were to be released on a never finished album from Carter Tanton's now defunct band Tulsa. Check out "Murderous Joy" and "Horrorscope".
Carter Tanton - MURDEROUS JOY by proxartgia
Carter Tanton - HORRORSCOPE by proxartgia

The Hi-Dive doors open at 8:00PM and the music starts at 9:00PM. The show is 18+ and tickets are $10 at the door.
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It came early and a little sudden, but we in Colorado know to expect the unexpected. We got our first snow of the season, and with it came chilling cold and wintry darkness - the perfect back story for the show that took place at the Hi-Dive Wednesday night. The Hi-Dive hosted a couple local bands and one touring band that all feature different varieties of moody sound, and for those willing to brave the cold, it was good show that went hand-in-hand with the change in weather.


Local indie rockers Spires opened up the night. The four members of Spires are Jake Lueck on bass, Marlon Chance on drums, Ian Gassman on guitar and Justin Sharp on vocals/guitar. They performed alternative rock songs that to me have an indie-pop appeal. The steady drumming in their songs kept an almost dancey beat, setting the backdrop for the intertwining guitar work of the band. I liked the clean approach to their guitar tones and the ample use of whammy bar and pitch bends that gave the band a floaty sound that is really appealing.  The vocals were smooth, seemingly sharing melody duties with the guitar like another instrument in the mix rather than being right in the foreground of the sound, almost giving the band a shoegaze quality but being a much more defined sound.


I made it to their performance a little late, and caught them in the middle of their first song, "Blue Occupation", a song with a driving rhythm and atmospheric instrumentation that makes what initially seems like a solemn song sound somewhat uplifting. From there they went into a new song with a slower tempo but similar feel. "The Chicago Outfit" had a driving beat, but maintained a more emotive feel, making it a standout song. They played two more songs I wasn't familiar with and finished with the other two tracks from their EP, the almost '80s-esque "Predatory" and "Calm July". Overall, I think Spires has a great sound going for them. Their Wednesday night performance seemed to lack full energy since the small early crowd was made even smaller due to the snow and cold, but it gave me a good idea of what the band is capable of. I think indie alt-pop fans would really enjoy Spires. NOTE: Spires' gear was stolen early Thursday morning. If you see any of the gear pictured where it shouldn't be, let Spires know!

Force Publique

Next up was local darkwave group, Force Publique. Musically, Force Publique continued to deliver their style of sound in the fashion I have become accustomed to seeing - driving and danceably moody, with a healthy helping of darkness. This time around, the performance was mostly clean, although I noticed a couple hiccups from some of the synth lines, but nothing glaring. Otherwise, it was another showcase of the songs that make Force Publique one of my favorite local bands.

Force Publique

Although they played the same songs off their EP (except the newer song "The Open Cold"), they did do some things this time around that I hadn't seen before and thought made their set list much smoother. Every other time I've seen Force Publique, Cassie McNeil starts on the bass and then moves on to the keyboard to finish out the set. This time the order was reversed, starting with "Fortified", "Kinetic" and "Distorted + Thin". Then, Cassie switched to bass for the rest of the set, playing Force Publique's usual starting tune "Ache" in the middle of their set. I really liked the way they ended with "Still Falls Apart", because I sometimes thought they played that song too early and it would make their set feel somewhat anticlimactic ending with something else. Using that song as the finale really made the set feel like it peaked at just the right moment. If you are into dark-tinged electro music and you haven't checkout out Force Publiqe yet, get on it! These guys are great, especially on a cold dark night.

Young Prisms

Headliners Young Prisms came out last to close out the show. For this live performance, they had five members - Jordan Silbert on drums, Matthew Allen on guitar/vocals, Stefanie Hodapp on lead vocals, Giovanni Betteo on bass and a fifth member to replace former guitarist Jason Hendardy who left the band earlier this year. I'd listened to their self-titled EP and album Friends For Now to get an idea of their sound prior to the show, so when I saw the band take the stage I was already a little confused before they even started playing - they have more than one singer, and one of them is female? That's because this band plays music that definitely features the 'Wall of Sound' quality of heavily distorted guitars that pretty much drowns out the not very melodic, heavily reverberated vocals, so I had assumed it was one guy singing.

Young Prisms

I'm not trying to say the lead singer sounds like a guy, it's that the recorded vocals of Young Prisms are so de-emphasized they seem very anonymous, lifeless and buried way underneath the instrumental sound. Hearing it live, I understood why the recorded vocals were reverberated so heavily, because when they can be heard more cleanly like I heard them Wednesday night, they just aren't very good. I understand the shoegaze concept, but every song I heard seemed to pretty much be indistinguishable from the next - the similar droning guitar sounds and drums that just sounded like the same 16th note pattern on the hi-hat - not so much psychedelic, unless you get psyched out by being in an infinite loop of sound.

Young Prisms

It didn't help that I couldn't recognize most of the material they played in their set list. I could only pick out "Weekends And Treehouses" from their first EP and "Breathless" from the album Friends For Now, but neither one of those songs live seemed to have the same appeal that was present on the recordings - especially because the vocals were not processed and came out more natural, which in this rare case wasn't something that helped the overall sound because that just meant one could more easily hear the tonal imperfections and the lack of melody made the vocals seem pointless at times. The material that I heard in the recordings was somewhat palatable, but what I saw live just ended up sounding noisy and boring. Perhaps if shoegaze is your thing, you may still want to check out this band. As for me, I have nothing against shoegaze, but I wouldn't use this band as a benchmark for the genre.

See more pictures from this show in the Facebook photo album. Like the Concerted Effort page to stay updated.
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Halloween weekend is alive and well and tonight there will be plenty of festivities to choose from. I'll be headed to the Larimer Lounge for a Halloween bash featuring an awesome local lineup perfect for the occasion. I've seen all four bands on the bill live at least once before, and I know that each one of them has something to offer that will play well into the season's mood. It'll be a good chance to celebrate the night while enjoying authentic homegrown talent, and it should be one of the weekend's best parties.

Local electro noise-pop duo ManCub will be headlining the show. These guys will ignite the dance floor with their hard hitting analog synthesized electro music, and they'll have a few new tricks up their sleeve for this show tonight. Check out "The New Sound" and "Ghostbusters".
The New Sound by Mancub303
GHOSTBUSTERS MNCB final by Mancub303

Flashlights is a local dreampop group with an awesome unique sound. This duo pairs airy yet emotive vocals with a very creative production style. The production always sounds futuristic and otherworldly while having a retro feel to it, like a combination of synthwave and chillwave with a twist. Check out "Canoe" and "Holidays".

Hollagramz is a local electro duo that inject a sort of tropical influence into their production. They create thumping dark-tinged electro songs that have rhythms and sounds influenced by styles of music one would find playing on a Caribbean island, making for a unique blend with high danceability. Check out "Axis" and "Galactic Leash".
Galactic Leash by HOLLAGRAMZ

King Mob is a local trio that sounds like a cross between '80 new wave revival and darkwave at times mixed with hard electro. The first time I saw these guys I thought their music would make the perfect Halloween soundtrack, so I'm happy to catch them on Halloween weekend. Check out "Take My Hand, I'm Changing" and "The Wasp".
Take My Hand, I'm Changing by King Mob Music
Wasp by King Mob Music

The Larimer Lounge doors open at 9:00PM and the music starts at 10:00PM. This 21+ show is $10 at the door.
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Halloween weekend is finally here and it's going to be big. There are plenty of live music events to choose from this weekend, all offering a slightly different way to party the night away. Tonight, I'll be kicking it off at the Marquis Theater, which will be hosting two indie electro-rock bands that'll set the tone and ignite the dance floor. They each boast a unique style, and should play well into the season, having just the right amount of darkness while still being wicked fun.

The headliner is Phantogram, an electro-rock band from New York. The band consists of Josh Carter on vocals/guitars, Sarah Barthel on vocals/keyboards, and touring live drummer Tim Oakley. This band creates a unique trip-hop style of electro-rock that carefully balances organic instrumentation with the use of samples and loops, creating a highly infectious and very moody hybrid sound that maintains incredible danceability. Check out "When I'm Small" from their debut album and "Don't Move" from their upcoming EP.
Phantogram "When I'm Small" by Barsuk Records
Phantogram - Don't Move by Hypetrak

Reptar is an indie electro-rock band from Atlanta, GA. This band takes a less moody approach to the genre, creating a high energy dance-rock sound with contagious peculiarity. The songs have creative structures and a certain whimsical quality to them that sets them apart, but overall are just intensely fun to listen to. Check out "Blastoff" and "RainBounce".
Reptar - Blast Off by Vagrant Records
Reptar - Rainbounce by Vagrant Records

The party starts at the Marquis Theater when doors open at 8:00PM. The show is all ages and tickets are $15. EDIT: Hope you got your tickets early, the show is sold out!
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Denver has live music behind just about every corner, and tonight I'm headed to the Lion's Lair to check out a mix of rock bands. Lion's Lair has played host to many different rock bands for quite some time, and it's about time I check out what they have going on there. Tonight the Lion's Lair will be hosting two national bands and one local band. The national bands are new to me, but the local band is one of the first bands I've covered on this blog, so it'll be nice to see how they've progressed.

The headliner is Hussle Club, a five-piece band from New York created by Prince Terrence, former live drummer for Santigold, Spank Rock, Hearts Revolution, and Major Lazer. This band produces electro post-punk with a touch of industrialism. They create dark, energetic music that sounds like club music for punk rockers. Check out "Children of the Underground".

Number Station is a local psychedelic garage rock band. I've covered this band twice before on this blog, but since then they have undergone some lineup changes and I'm curious to see the new version of the band. Guitarist Tom Mestnik, drummer Adam Snook, and guitarist Jay McBurney remain, joined by new bassist John Jarvinen and new singer Kate Whysner. Check out "Digital Ashes".
Number Station - Digital Ashes by Concerted Effort

Big Tree is a five-piece band from New York that also boasts a psychedelic rock sound, although this band approaches psychedelia in the pop rock direction. Their music sounds like a modern approach to '60s sunshine pop with a twist. Check out "This Fall".
This Fall by BigTree

The Lion's Lair doors open at 8:00PM and the music starts at 9:00PM. The show is 21+ and tickets are $5 at the door.

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I've lived in Colorado all my life but I can't say that I've been to Fort Collins very often. I have nothing against the place, in fact, the few times I've been there I've always had a good time. But Tuesday night I found a really good reason to make another trip, and even though I had to drive back late at night through a treacherous snow storm, it was completely worth it. I had the opportunity to check out a band I've been a fan of for a long time but haven't yet seen live. The band has two upcoming shows near me; this Friday Oct. 28 at the Ogden Theater and Saturday Oct. 29 at the Boulder Theater, but Tuesday's show best fit my schedule so I happily made my way up north. It was my first trip to the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins, and I found it to be a nice medium-sized venue with good views of the stage all around and good sound - a place that can have larger crowds but still maintain an intimate feel.

Bonnie and the Beard

The show started with a local Denver gypsy-rock band that I was also checking out for the first time. Bonnie and the Beard is a three-piece band - Bonnie (Megan Fong) plays guitar/keyboards/percussion and Beard (Tony LoVerde) plays guitar/banjo. The two share vocal duties and are backed by drummer Alex Ferreira. The trio created a gypsy influenced southern rock sound that was a combination of folk, blues and country. Their songs conjured up images of the wild frontier and sounded like what you might hear traveling gypsies play as they performed in an old western saloon. Their songs all have a fun feel, enhanced by the dynamic presence and energy from Bonnie and Beard, and they got me bobbing my head and stomping my feet the whole time they were on stage.

Alex Ferreira of Bonnie and the Beard

They played mostly songs off of their self-titled album Bonnie and the Beard as well as a handful of other new fun songs. To set the tone and introduce the crowd to what this band was all about, they started their set with the song "Lonely Hills", a tale about a zombie cowboy. From there they played songs that covered a variety of related subjects. There were the gypsy life songs "Money Honey", and "Lost Tribe" delivered with almost carnival-esque instrumentation. There were even odes to booze with songs like "Flask In Pocket", "Sweet Devil Whiskey" and "Beer, Beer. Beer". They deliver their songs with such a charming playful seriousness it's hard not to get sucked into the fun. If you're looking for something bluesy but a little different, check out Bonnie and the Beard.


DeVotchKa took the stage next, and as soon as they were in place the energy level in the whole room was instantly ratcheted up - the four members of this band exude such a confidence about them that before they even play a note they will capture the audience's attention. DeVotchKa had an incredible amount of instruments on stage to create their folk-rock/gypsy punk sound. Depending on the song, each band member would grab one of the different available instruments. Lead singer Nick Urata had two different acoustic guitars - a nylon classical guitar and a steel-stringed acoustic, an electric guitar, a bouzouki (sort of a lower pitched mandolin), and a theremin. Tom Hagerman handled the keyboard, accordion, violin and electric bass. Jeanie Schroder had an upright bass, sousaphone (marching version of the tuba), flute, and also provided backing vocals. Shawn King was mostly behind the drum set, but would handle other percussion and play the trumpet. It's no wonder that with all these tools at their disposal DeVotchKa can create such an intricate combination and variety of sounds.

Jeanie Schroder of DeVotchKa

They began their set with the first track from their newest album, 100 Lovers titled "The Alley". The initial combination of classical guitar, keyboard, drums and upright bass created a song with a sort of atmospheric and somewhat ambient introduction that exploded into DeVotchKa's unique brand of indie folk-rock, instantly pumping the Aggie Theater venue walls with scintillating energy. In order to treat the crowd with gems from across their enormous catalog, DeVotchKa included "Head Honcho" originally from their first release Super Melodrama and "Basso Profundo" from A Mad & Faithful Telling. Just three songs into their set, they already had the sweat beading off my head as I couldn't help but dance to the entrancing rhythms of their gypsy-rock songs.

Shawn King of DeVotchKa

I loved how their set list was a great mixture of their entire song repertoire. They made sure to include my favorites from the new album, like "All the Sand In All the Sea" and "The Man from San Sebastian" around songs from Una Volta and How It Ends. Nick Urata wowed the crowd with the magic of the theremin with "C'est Ce La" and then had the entire crowd sing along to "We're Leaving" as Shawn King emerged from behind the drums to play the trumpet. Nick Urata conducted another sing-a-long with "How It Ends", making the slower piece extra powerful and creating a very strong connection with the crowd.

Nick Urata of DeVotchKa

The live versions of every song sounded absolutely phenomenal, flawless and fluid, making it all that much easier to draw more energy from the crowd. If the crowd wasn't singing along or showing off their dance skills, they were clapping along to the beat while screaming wildly. They kept the audience on their toes by mixing up fast paced and slower songs, like transitioning from the more solemn "How It Ends" into the dance-fest inducing "Contrabanda", back to the whistling of "Exhaustible". I like how this band showed local pride by performing their cover of local musician Ted Thacker's "I Cried Like a Silly Boy" to their home state crowd. It's as if DeVotchKa new all the right buttons to push to get the best out of the audience, which in turn drew the best out of the band themselves.

Nick Urata of DeVotchKa

DeVotchKa wrapped up their regular set with two of their older songs. "The Clockwise Witness" showcased the unique ability of DeVotchKa to meld a more solemn, mellow sounding song with a rhythm that still has a lot of danceability, and I liked the pizzicato violin in place of the toy piano sound that is present in the recorded version. Then they finished their regular set with one of my all time favorites, "The Enemy Guns", a song that brought out the true essence of gypsy punk with its fast paced rhythm and driving guitar riffs.

Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa

Although I was not familiar with the way crowds in Fort Collins would react to DeVotchKa, judging by the palpable energy in the room I couldn't imagine they would let the band leave so easily. I was glad to be right, as immediately an intense rumble from stomping feet shook the room like an earthquake among chants of "Encore! Encore!". Soon thereafter, DeVotchKa returned to the stage to loud cheers to perform a little more. The encore began with the title track from their new album, "100 Other Lovers", showing the bands ability to to work with more modern sounds coming from a drummable sample pad and synthesized keyboard. Then DeVotchKa tore the whole place down with an extended version of "Such a Lovely Thing" to end the night. There was a whole lot of amazing that happened in that finale, but if you didn't see it, you can find out how astounding DeVotchKa can be by seeing it for yourself this weekend.

Jeanie Schroder of DeVotchKa

After seeing Tuesday night's show, I almost wish my schedule would allow me to see them at their other two dates this Halloween weekend. The music of the show was absolutely incredible, and should not only appeal to fans of folk-rock but general fans of indie rock as well. Plus, I know that the Denver and Boulder crowds will dance so feverishly they will probably redefine the word 'energetic'. Then to top it all off, those shows will have a theme that will take everything to a whole new level - zombies versus vampires. Choose a side, get dressed in costume, head down to one of those two venues, and get ready to dance the night away. DeVotchKa will handle the rest, and from what I've already seen, it's going to be epic.

Tickets to the Oct. 28 Ogden Theater show are available at the box office and online, and DeVotchKa will be joined be Denver locals Churchill. I've seen Churchill live before and they blew me away with their live performance, so it should be an incredible show from top to bottom. Tickets to the Oct. 29 Boulder Theater show are also available at the box office or online. DeVotchKa will be joined by special guests Ending People for the Boulder show. Check out one (or both!) of the shows, because they are sure to be an incredibly good time.

See more pictures from this show in the Facebook photo album. Like the Concerted Effort page and stay updated!
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In only the way Colorado could do it, the first snow has abruptly arrived. But that just means I have to throw on a few extra layers, because there is still a lot of live music to see this week. Tonight I'll be headed to the Hi-Dive to check out a couple local bands and one national indie, who'll still manage to be appropriate for the season despite the sudden change. Two of the bands are new to me, and their introspective form of indie rock should play well into both this time of year and the mood brought by the sudden blanket of snow.

The headlining band is Young Prisms, a shoegaze band from San Francisco. This band will bring the sound of highly distorted, atmospheric guitars with droning riffs and de-emphasized, spacey melodic vocals to provide a mellow and deliberately shapeless sound. It's a combination of sounds both airy, yet driving and dark. Check out "Sugar".
Young Prisms - Sugar by The Drift Record Shop

This'll be the third time I've covered Force Publique on this blog, and the second time this month, but I don't mind because they are one of my favorite local bands. Their combination of dark vocals, driving rhythms, moody synths, and bass guitar led songs create a peculiar sound I can't get enough of. This will be the first time I've seen them play at the Hi-Dive and their music should complement a cold night perfectly. Check out "Ache".

Spires is a local Denver four-piece indie rock band. This band produces what they like to call dream rock, which to me sounds like lofty modern rock with a slight '80s pop meets '90s alt-rock/post-punk sensibility but delivered with a solemn mood - and I like it. Check out "The Chicago Outfit".
Spires - The Chicago Outfit by Concerted Effort

The Hi-Dive doors open at 8:00PM and the show starts around 9:00PM. The show is 18+ and tickets are $8.00 at the door.
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One of the latest and greatest things to happen to the Denver dance scene took place this past weekend and it had all the right ingredients to make for an epic dance party. Lipgloss founder boyhollow brought to town a party that's already taken New York and Chicago by storm: Girls & Boys. The first Girls & Boys Denver party included eight impressive DJ acts - four locals and four imports - and a spellbinding light show. There was non-stop music going on the entire night, and it made for a marathon dance fest for those that could handle it.

Fidget Factory

It wasn't enough for Girls & Boys Denver to feature some big national and international DJ names, it had to start with local representation. The party began early and I missed the DJ set from opener Spencer Flower, but I still got to see three more local purveyors of dance. I arrived shortly after eight o'clock, and local DJ duo Fidget Factory was up on stage throwing down a heavy electro mix. Fidget Factory's mixing style uses hard electro beats, splashes of womp, and clever dashes of remixed and mashed up songs. I like how in between a section of electro songs, they brought out a remix of Kelis' "Milkshake" mashed up with an instrumental of The Game's "How We Do", making a song that was pure club on so many levels. They got the early crowd's heart rate racing and served as a good warm up for the hours of dance still ahead.

London Dungeon

Next on stage was another local DJ two-piece, London Dungeon. London Dungeon started throwing down a mix that had more nu-disco house and dance-funk, getting everyone into a smooth groove. It was a good transition from the earlier set, because if they kept the intensity just as high as the previous act it probably would have wore out the crowd. Instead, their set was at the perfect mid-tempo, bringing back retro '70s and '80s dance sounds wrapped around modern dance textures. I really liked their song selection, giving everything a sort of retro feel, even with newer songs like YACHT's "Dystopia" and CSS's "Hit's Me Like A Rock" - the remixes they played were hot. After a nice discotheque session, London Dungeon handed the decks over to one more local maestro.


Not only did he present the show, but boyhollow had to throw down a set as well. It's obvious boyhollow has a passion for making people dance when he's so heavily involved in the parties he presents. For this evening, boyhollow threw down a mix in his characteristic eclectic style, drawing from music across genres to propagate more dance energy to the floor. Showing an ability to carefully and steadily build up crowd energy, boyhollow started with milder mid-tempo house tracks like Cassius' "The Sound of Violence" and built up the intensity until he was slamming the crowd with a little womp and hard electro like Skream's remix of "In For The Kill" by La Roux.

Paul Anthony

Paul Anthony took over the reigns next, the first imported artist of the show. He brought his Chicago house experience and Dirty Fabric record label swagger to the dance floor. Lately, Paul Anthony has been churning out electro jams and remixes one after the other, and he brought much of his production work to the decks Saturday night. Using just CD tables and a mixer, Paul Anthony brought face melting electro and hard house to the hapless Denver crowd. My favorite track had to be the remix of Laid Back's "White Horse" he threw down.

By this point of the night, people were starting to file in and take up the dance floor, and that's just when things started to get visually interesting as well. Girls & Boys Denver featured a laser display that continued to get more elaborate and amazing as the night went on. It started with a few lasers during boyhollow's and Paul Anthony's set, impressive but not much beyond the standard fare, but once the international acts of the Kitsuné Club Night Tour started to throw down, the laser light show got absolutely ridiculous.


Brazilian DJ duo Database went up on stage next, bringing a crazy blend of electro house - crazy because they remix so many songs that are from outside of the electro realm. They upped the tempo and started to get the crowd sweating as people tried to keep up with one hard mix after the other. My favorite tracks were their electro mix of Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You", bringing an old favorite back to life with a bang, and they included an electro favorite of mine, "Neon Nights" by MSTRKRFT. When Database was on stage, the party was definitely in full effect, and it only continued to get better from there.


BeatauCue took the stage next, bringing their French electro house sound to Denver. They take hard electro to a new level using crazy tweaked and glitchy sounds, hard thumping bass, and souped up tempos to get dancers going wild. Their sound worked perfectly with the laser display, each high pitched burst hitting my ear drums just as synchronized flashes of colored light dazzled my eyes. They kept their set high energy, but the song that stood out was the song "Close" from their Falcon Punch EP.


From there it was up to headliners RAC to finish the night and smack the audiences' ears with songs remixed and re-imagined in creative ways. Using two laptops and an array of Ableton controllers, the remix duo impressively laid down a fluid mix of songs they manipulated for the crowd live. They reached deep into their bag of tricks, pulling out songs from across genres and giving them the dance floor treatment. They remixed Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy, CSS, Mr. Oizo, Simian Mobile Disco, Kele, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and many, many more. The RAC injected more of their dancey tunes as opposed to some of their indie rock reconstructions, but they felt out what the crowd wanted and delivered the high energy set people were seeking.

The first Girls & Boys Denver party was a great introduction on what to expect for the future. Anytime you see an upcoming Girls & Boys Denver event, expect it to be a non-stop dance fest featuring great talent and sweet visuals. They will bring in the best skilled DJs from around town, and then supplement that with huge talent from around the world. The first party was incredibly fun, thanks to the great music and atmosphere. There were not as many people there as I would have liked to have seen, but the dance floor was still going hard the entire night and it was a good showing for such a new event. If you missed out on the first one, don't worry, this party is bound to come back. But get on it, because this party is only going to get bigger and better each time and you won't want to be left out.

See more pictures from this show in the Facebook photo album. Like the Concerted Effort page to stay up to date.

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It's time to branch out of the Denver area and take a short road trip up north. There's a town up there known for a certain state university and brewers of fine local beer, but it turns out Fort Collins knows a thing or two about live music as well. I'll be traveling to the Aggie Theater, who will be hosting a couple of Denver based gypsy punk bands. One of these bands is new to me, but the other has been around for quite some time and I'm very excited to finally get the opportunity to see them live.

The headliner is Colorado's own long-time gypsy punk/indie folk extraordinaires DeVotchKa. DeVotchKa started as a backing band for burlesque shows back in the late 1990s, but shortly thereafter became a full fledged band. This band is made up of four talented multi-instrumentalist who create a gypsy folk inspired rock sound with a staggering plethora of instruments: piano, guitar, trumpet, accordion, organ, theremin, trumpet, melodica, violin, sousaphone (tuba), upright bass, drums and bouzouki.

Since the year 2000, they have released five studio albums, including their newly released album 100 Lovers. Their unique sound has taken them to perform around the world, and they have even been called to score films, most notably for the Academy Award winning Little Miss Sunshine. They have so much material now that just a couple song previews probably won't cut it, but check out one of my old favorites "The Enemy Guns" and a track off of their new album "All The Sand In All The Sea".
Devotchka-The Enemy Guns by ENDIT! Management
DeVotchKa - All The Sand In All The Sea by antirecords

Denver locals Bonnie and the Beard will open up the night, bringing a unique blend of gypsy inspired southern rock 'n' roll with a touch of country swagger. Originally an acoustic two piece, Bonnie and the Beard is now a trio that features both Bonnie (Megan Fong) and Beard (Tony LoVerde) on vocals and electric guitars backed by Alex Ferreira on drums. They should open up the night with a good collection of foot stompin' music. Check out "Money Honey" and "Lonely Hills".
Bonnie and the Beard - Money Honey by Suburban Home Records
Bonnie and the Beard - Lonely Hills by Suburban Home Records

The Aggie Theater doors open at 8:00PM. The show is all ages and tickets are $20. If you can't make it to Fort Collins DeVotchKa will be playing in Denver and Boulder this weekend!
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