Churchill at Ogden Theatre, 3/08/13, with Ha Ha Tonka, the Autumn Film (review, photos)
Danielle Lirette Tim Bruns of Churchill on stage at the Ogden Theatre in Denver last night. See more photos in the full Churchill and fans at the Ogden slideshow.
CHURCHILL @ OGDEN THEATRE | 3/8/13
Outside of its stint at KTCL's Not So Silent Night back in December, Churchill has kept a rather low profile locally since its pair of headlining shows at the Bluebird back in September. That was right after the band had been picked up by A&M/Octone. Since then, the group has played Jimmy Kimmel Live, scored a Billboard chart hit with "Change," and embarked on two solid months of touring. Needless to say, the band has been stupid busy.
Danielle Lirette Churchill on stage last night at the Ogden Theatre in Denver. See more photos in the full Churchill and fans at the Ogden slideshow.
Last night, Churchill played a mix of established crowd pleasers interspersed with some new material, augmented with a cover Gnarls Barkley's 2006 mega-ultra-world-dominating hit, "Crazy." The band kicked off its set with "Ark in a Flood," and the group executed it every bit as well as they had on Kimmel, with frontman Tim Bruns and keyboardist Bethany Kelly doing their best to get the crowd clapping and singing along. Not that they needed to try very hard; Churchill, being the biggest Denver-band-that's-not-the Lumineers, has a ravenous local following that would probably perform synchronized knife fighting if Bruns had asked.
Danielle Lirette Bethany Kelly of Churchill on stage last night at the Ogden Theatre in Denver. See more photos in the full Churchill and fans at the Ogden slideshow.
The rest of the set followed the same format: A new song, "War Within," was followed by "I Still Remember" (from last year's Change EP). Mandolinist Michael Morter was a constant presence throughout these and other mid-set songs. He's more of a strummer than a picker, and is heard more than any other instrumentalist in the band, adding to a vague, omnipresent bluegrass vibe that marks much of Churchill's output.
Danielle Lirette Michael Morter of Churchill on stage at the Ogden Theatre in Denver last night. See more photos in the full Churchill and fans at the Ogden slideshow.
As last night's performance attests, Churchill is right for its time. The folksy, front porch-picking thing was hardly on anyone's radar five years ago when the band started. Now, with Mumford & Sons on damn near every radio station from here to Antarctica, the genre's mass appeal is undeniable.