UMS 2012: Bad Weather California delivers an old-fashioned rock show
Tom Murphy Bad Weather California at 3 Kings Tavern
See Also: People of UMS 2011
Kicked off the first day of UMS by catching Bad Weather California in a very humid 3 Kings Tavern. People were packed in pretty tight in the middle of the room and mostly on the flanks. BWC played a loose, relaxed set like the guys had a group meeting beforehand and all agreed that rather than putting on a perfect, by-the-book performance, they'd deliver a good old fashioned rock and roll show with Chris Adolf engaging the audience in some playful banter, pulling his shirt off halfway through, and clearly having fun.
Tom Murphy Cloud Nothings at 3 Kings Tavern
Cloud Nothings played afterward. Maybe it was the wrong night. Maybe it was the stuffy, sweltering environment that affected the mind, or maybe it was just this set -- whatever it was, this band struck me as warmed over pop punk with slightly more interesting guitar ideas. However, Jason Gerycz is an incredible drummer who brought another dimension to otherwise straight ahead material.
Tom Murphy Il Cattivo at 3 Kings Tavern
Started off the second night of UMS at 3 Kings Tavern, too, with Il Cattivo, who put in an extra-energetic showing. Brian Hagman caught air more than a few times for more than a second or two. Matt Bellinger played the guitar with more than the usual gusto, and Arj Narayan served the perfect edgy counterpoint to Bellinger's more free-flowing, controlled chaos. But really, it was like the two guys were handing off that role to one another in an interesting bit of interplay. Jed Kopp and Matthew Cavanaugh somehow make keeping things on an even keel seem like a train teetering out of control but never quite tipping over seem easy.
Tom Murphy Le Divorce at 3 Kings Tavern
"The best band that gives the most head in Denver!" Sid Pink announced to introduce Le Divorce. This was kind of a bittersweet show because it was the band's second to last. The quartet ran through its most well-known material and never played it better, maybe because there was no pressure other than it being one of the last shows rather than the actual last show.
Kitty Vincent, of course, joked self-deprecatingly from stage, as usual, but seemed more comfortable with the awkward joking she's kind of made her signature. Joe Grobelny and Mike King smiled and played off each other well and lunged and jumped about while Luke James-Erickson laid down some of the strongest beats he's brought to a band yet. Sometimes when you know it's the end with a band you just try to have fun with it and Le Divorce certainly brought that spirit to this performance.
Tom Murphy Jimi Nasi in front of 3 Kings Tavern
Outside, there was the truck The Construct sometimes plays out of, and Mark Armijo had it set up to do karaoke but also for any band or musician that had the nerve. Upon exiting 3 Kings, a familiar face was on stage in the person of Jimi Nasi from I'm A Boy and The 40th Day. More introspective stuff than usual, but Jimi is one of those musicians who can make an introspective song rock if he wants to but this was more just intense, expressive mellow but not light material.
Tom Murphy Black Moth Super Rainbow at Main Stage Goodwill
Black Moth Super Rainbow graced the Main Stage behind Goodwill. Without the immersive projections and lighting that comes with most of the band's shows indoors, it was a little odd. But the sound mix brought out how alien and surreal and hypnotically gorgeous the songs often can be. It was the perfect blend of electronic, the electric, psychedelia and dance music.