I've covered packed and crowded concerts before on this blog, but Tuesday night's sold out show at the Ogden Theater was something else. Sold out shows are usually a good sign that there will be a huge and energetic crowd, but the passion found Tuesday night was so high I had to keep reminding myself it wasn't the weekend. From start to finish and all the way through the after party people were having more fun mid-week than they probably would on a Friday night.

Midnight Magic

The party got started when Midnight Magic took the stage. Usually a nine-piece band, only six-members of this Brooklyn disco-funk group made the trip to Denver, but that didn't detract from their sound. Midnight Magic had Carter Yatusake and Nick Roseboro on trumpets, Morgan Wiley on keyboard, W. Andrew Raposo on bass, Max Goldman on drums, and Tiffany Ross on vocals. Even without their guitarist, trombonist and percussionist, Midnight Magic delivered delicious electro-disco with a strong '70s feel.

Tiffany Ross of Midnight Magic

Midnight Magic had an electronic framework that set it apart from vintage disco, but the live instruments helped create an authentic and organic throwback sound. The five instrumentalists anchored down a driving retro sound laced with contemporary electro touches, and coupled with Tiffany Ross' powerful vocals and disco diva stage presence, Midnight Magic had the early crowd at the Ogden dancing discotheque style - sophisticated, elaborate and sexy. They played a short set, but it got the crowd sufficiently warmed up for a night of dancing. "Heat" got the temperature rising with its uptempo beat and punchy horns, while the funky bass line of "Beam Me Up" had the crowd strutting to the groove. Check out Midnight Magic for a contemporary twist on classic disco.

Washed Out

By the time the second band came on stage, the Ogden Theater was near capacity. The crowd had been waiting in anticipation to catch Washed Out, and when they started to perform, the venue erupted. Washed Out is the project of Ernest Greene, but he had the help of a full band to perform his pieces for the crowd. There were four members in Washed Out's backing band, and all together Washed Out had three synthesizers, a sampler, electric bass, and drums. The backing band gave Washed Out's chillwave sound a little extra punch and an extra dose of danceability. They managed to translate the retro '80s style synth-heavy rhythms of Washed Out's music to something that still maintained that feel but was more natural and organic rather than feeling digitized and artificial like some chillwave music can be.

Ernest Greene of Washed Out

Washed Out played a good mix of music from Life of Leisure and Within and Without. The live versions of songs from Life of Leisure were particularly interesting, as Ernest Greene performed everything himself on the recordings, so his backing band added an entirely new dimension to those pieces. The live drumming in "Hold Out" really drove the rhythm and made it even more infectiously danceable. "Feel It All Around" still maintained it's laid back identity, but seemed to have more palpable energy. The live versions of songs from Within and Without weren't as different, but I did think the live drumming in "Soft" made the song as driving as it was ethereal. Washed Out closed with "Eyes Be Closed" and they seemed to be surprised that people knew their music when much of the audience sang along. Washed Out's live performance got the crowd moving more than one would think with their airy chillwave sound, so it is no wonder Washed Out is one of the biggest names in the genre.

As excited as the packed-in crowd was for Washed Out, it paled in comparison to the elation the audience reserved for the headlining band, Cut Copy. As Cut Copy prepared to enter the stage, the energy and anticipation of the crowd grew so readily I wasn't sure if the Ogden would be able to contain it. When the members of Cut Copy finally set foot on stage, the sold out crowd completely ignited. It wasn't just the people in the front that were going crazy, that wild energy made it's way to the back rows and balcony of the crammed venue. Everyone had been eagerly waiting to hear Cut Copy's blend of indie rock and retro influenced electropop, and the band was ready to deliver.

Cut Copy

Mitchell Scott took his place behind the drums at the rear center of the stage. Ben Browning (bass, synth) and Tim Hoey (guitar, sampler, percussion) were on the wings, framing lead vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Dan Whitford. There was even a fifth touring member who would occasionally come out on stage to assist with percussion. They wasted no time delving into new material, kicking off the show with the funky bass meets new wave song "Take Me Over" from their new album Zonoscope. Frontman Dan Whitford was a joy to watch the entire show with his incredible stage presence. When his hands weren't busy on the keyboards or the guitar, they were pointing wildly or in the air to rile up the crowd.

Dan Whitford of Cut Copy

The set list was a good mix of new material and old favorites from their breakout sophomore album In Ghost Colours. Cut Copy chose the most well known songs off their sophomore effort, getting the crowd to sing along with them while they performed "Feel the Love", "So Haunted", "Lights & Music" and "Hearts On Fire". They took a similar approach with the songs their new album songs, as I heard much of the crowd singing along to "Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat", "Corner of the Sky", and "Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution".

Tim Hoey of Cut Copy

Unlike their recordings, they didn't have transitional songs/interludes that blended one song into the next to keep a seamless and continuous set going. Honestly, I think it was a good idea to have breaks in between songs, as it gave the crowd (and the performers) a chance to get a short breather between songs before continuing to rage on. However, the live versions of each song seemed to be slightly extended versions compared to their recordings, with many songs having about an extra minute or so in length.

Dan Whitford of Cut Copy

Cut Copy closed their regular set with the epic fifteen minute long album closer "Sun God", but as the crowd watched Cut Copy go wild during the instrumental part of the track, complete with guitarist Tim Hoey climbing atop the drum set and crashing the symbols while Mitchell Scott continued to drum, the finale seemed to end in an instant. Cut Copy was barely able to get off stage before the crowd began to call them the band back for more, and when the Ogden started to rumble under the stomping of thousands of feet, the band returned for an encore.

Cut Copy

Cut Copy performed two more songs to the delight of the crowd - both a couple of my favorites from Zonoscope. They began the encore with "Where I'm Going", getting the entire crowd singing along to every "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Ooh!". Then they finished with "Need You Now", a song with so much retro influence the first time I heard it I swore it was a modernized cover of a song from an '80s band like the Thompson Twins, and it totally blew my mind when I realized it was an original song. That more mellow song was the perfect way to wind down their performance while still maintaining strong energy.

But since the concert had an early start time, that meant it ended relatively early - about thirty minutes shy of midnight. Most people were pleased with the dose of Cut Copy they just received, but many people were craving more. Those that still had an appetite for dancing made their way over to the Larimer Lounge to catch a Cut Copy DJ set and after party. I headed that way to check out the scene and found even more intense energy and madness.

Cut Copy DJ Set/After Party

Local Lipgloss resident DJ boyhollow was already holding down the decks as the hordes of people filed in to cram the Larimer Lounge dance floor. He was laying down electro bangers to a steadily growing crowd as a massive line of people waited to get in and party some more. Shortly after midnight, Cut Copy arrived and manned the decks, and the wild crowd got even crazier. Cut Copy played a set of funky and laid back mid-tempo house and disco tracks while the crowd continued to get their groove on like it was the weekend. The dance floor got so packed people got onto the stage and were dancing right next to Cut Copy as they were laying down their mix. It was one of the wildest parties I've seen (especially on a Tuesday night), and it continued all the way until it was closing time at the Larimer Lounge.

From start to finish the entire night was pure positive musical energy. The concert at the Ogden Theater was an incredibly intense party from the openers all the way through Cut Copy's set. The mix of disco-funk, chillwave, and indie synthpop maintained a good variety that kept the whole venue dancing. The after party was an even further explosion of energy, and those that handled both the concert and the DJ set definitely got their fill. If you missed out on the festivities, keep your eyes peeled for the next time any of these bands come back to town - it will surely be a riot.

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

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