Dragonette at Larimer Lounge, 9/21/12

Categories: Concert Reviews

Cory Lamz
Dragonette's Martina Sorbara mystified fans during the band's second visit to Denver last night.


The Larimer Lounge wore three sizes too small on Dragonette last night. The Canadian band, which stopped at the Larimer Lounge for their first Denver show three years ago, put on a show that rock n' rolled too hard for the constraints of the venue this time around: That's why it was so intimate, so good.

See also: Dragonette's Martina Sorbara on writing songs about cheating without actually cheating

Martina Sorbara, the singer and tour-de-force of Dragonette, brought out all the stops during a nearly two-hour set. She sang -- boy, did she sing -- she danced, and her stage charisma, especially in such a small space, was electric. For songs like "Easy" and "Run, Run, Run," it felt like she was singing to you and only you. For others, especially "Live In This City," it was as if all 200-plus attendees were marching their way to dance-rock revolution and Sorbara was leading the charge.

Dragonette cut through all its staples, opening the show with "I Get Around," its debut single and perhaps most well-aged track. It sat fine in line with songs from the new album, Bodyparts -- which made up most of the setlist -- and set the bar high for the rest of the evening. Bar a few technical difficulties, during which Sorbara entertained the crowd with her everywoman banter, the band most certainly rose to the Mile High occasion.

Cory Lamz
Martina Sorbara and husband Dan Kurtz play alongside each other last night at the Larimer Lounge.

The walls shook as Sorbara's husband Dan Kurtz, who tickled the keyboards for most of the evening but also threw in some heavy guitar at points, transformed "Riot," a new song, into a great moment in pop history -- fans jumped, the floor shook, and never was it more clear that Dragonette had outgrown the Larimer Lounge. The track would have been more aptly named "Earthquake." "My Work Is Done," another new one, led a similar charge as drummer Joel Stouffer shredded his drumheads.

Other songs morphed into behemoths live as well. "My Legs" stomped along, and even if fans didn't know the words at the song's beginning, because it's a new one (and deserves to be a single), they were certainly singing the lyrics by the end -- lyrics that were oh so fun to belt in the darkness of the Larimer Lounge: "I can't stop my legs, my legs go out late dancing/I try to wash my face, my lips they put on makeup/My bodies got itself all dressed up/I'll pay for it tomorrow when I wake up."

The show wasn't all electro-rock stompers, though. "Easy" and "Run, Run, Run" saw Sorbara really belt as more dedicated fans joined in on the former for background "oohs." Yet Sorbara's show-stopping vocals really came out in the form of an a capella rendition of "Cuckoo" -- her wonderfully airy vocal carried throughout the Larimer Lounge, perfectly juxtaposing the harder, full-on, riff-led sounds of the previous song, "Fire In Your New Shoes" (which saw Sorbara on electric guitar).

Continue reading for a setlist and Critic's Notebook.

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