Denver Metal Musicians on Stage Security and Violence at Shows

In The Company Of Serpents thinks the Dimebag Darrell shooting should highlight the need to treat mental health. Album release show Friday January 16th at the Marquis Theater.
Stage security has been a contentious issue in the decade since the death of Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. Lamb Of God vocalist Randy Blythe was famously cleared of manslaughter in Czech Republic after a fan died from complications of a stage diving injury in 2010. More recently, NOFX vocalist Fat Mike made amends for kicking a fan in the face when he was startled by the fan's friendly embrace on stage. Every Time I Die offered no such sympathy to a fan who tried to take a selfie on stage, mid-song. Guitarist Jordan Buckley kicked the phone out of his hand and stood by his action on Twitter. Slipknot percussionist Chris Fehn denounced moshing as a form of bullying earlier this week. Westword caught up with six Denver bands for their thoughts about fan on-stage antics, mosh pits and post-Dimebag stage security.

See also: Six Reasons To Always Stage-Dive

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The Five Shows Grandma Will Most Disapprove of Tonight in Denver

Thumbnail image for pizza.png
A screenshot from this ridiculous video.
Why, yes, that IS Macaulay Culkin playing Velvet Underground songs altered to be about pizza.
Thanksgiving. A holiday full of food, football, family fights about politics and awkward run-ins with high-school exes. It's a wonderful American tradition. But this year, instead of waiting until midday Thursday to bond and drink and eventually argue with your relatives, take your great aunt, step-uncle and second cousin to one of these shows this Blackout Wednesday. They are all pretty odd, entertaining, and definitely not designed for family fun, which makes them the perfect start to a holiday that, let's face it, usually ends up being a bit of a shitshow anyway.

See also: The Best Concerts in Denver This Week

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How Respectful Crowds Affect Performances

Kevin Galaba
Strange Americans at Swallow Hill Music Theater.
When bands take to the road to tour in support of a new album, they play a lot of shows in a lot of different venues --some small, some cavernous, all of them unique. The trick is to adapt to the room, so that the songs connect with the audience -- whether that's 12 people or 1200. Strange Americans is one of those bands -- after two tours of the Western half of the country and a steady presence in cities and towns in Colorado, they succeed with an intuitive ability to adjust their strategy to make that connection.

They played the Bluebird Theater in Septempber and nearly sold out the venue. Last weekend they took the same songs to Swallow Hill Music Hall, which only holds 100.

See Also: For Strange Americans, Music Is A Royal Battle

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The Michal Menert Big Band Could Be the Future of EDM

Eric Gruneisen
Michal Menert Big Band perform at the Fillmore on Friday, November 7th.
Michal Menert is called the Godfather of Pretty Lights Music by his fans. When he is on stage, he sports a Henley Fedora hat and a suit jacket. On special occasions, a three-piece full suit will come out complete with a vest. "If I'm going to make music that I want to be seen in a classier light than just glow stick raves, then I'm going to have to act the part," he says. Last Friday night, the Polish-born, Denver-based electronic and hip-hop musician brought his songs to a whole new level with the Big Band.

Between nineteen and twenty-two musicians were on stage with him at all times, an arrangement he first experimented with at this summer's Sonic Bloom festival. It's something he hopes to do more now -- on stage, Menert filled the role of orchestra conductor, band leader, sampling DJ, sound engineer and composer.

See Also: Michal Menert Is Stronger Than Ever on Dreaming of a Bigger Life

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My Night With Afroman, Fueled by Colt 45 and So Much Legal Weed

Taylor Boylston
Afroman backstage at a Weedmaps event in Denver.
When I was first asked if I wanted to cover a Weedmaps event at which Afroman was the featured guest, thirteen-year-old Taylor died a little bit on the inside. I was taken back to the good old days of middle school, and recalled the first time I ever smoked weed, with Afroman as the soundtrack. And now I was going to meet him, the man who provided an entire generation with music to listen to while getting high.

See also: Photos: Musicians Buying (Legal) Weed in Denver

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A Denver Tribute to Gram Parsons Featured Two of His Original Bandmates

Reprise Records
Gram Parsons final tour, in 1973, began in Boulder.
In 1973, Gram Parsons went on tour with his band, the Fallen Angels. That tour, which only lasted six weeks, has become something of a legend for fans of authentic country music. Local musician Casey James Prestwood, and his backing band The Burning Angels, paid tribute to the tour, song by song, at Park House over the weekend. The night included not only Prestwood's band, but two members of the original lineup from the 1973 tour -- Neil Flanz and Jock Bartley.

See Also: Casey James Prestwood Brings Classic Country Back To Life

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Youth On Record Honored at the Future of Music Coalition in Washington, DC

Jeff Martin
Tyler Breuer, Daniel Rondeau, Adrian Molina and Jami Duffy accepts an award at the Future of Music Coalition Honor Dinner on Monday night in Washington, DC.
Youth On Record, a Denver non-profit focused on music education, was recognized Monday night in DC during the Future of Music Coalition Honors Dinner. The FMC Honors award "celebrates pioneers who have made meaningful contributions to the music community."

See also: Break Ground on $2.75 million Youth Media Studio at DHA's Mariposa Phase II

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The Costume-Based Guide to This Year's Halloween Concerts in Denver

Kenneth Hamblin III
DeVotchKa performing at a Halloween show at the Gothic Theatre last year.
Halloween changes as you get older. It starts off with the excitement of candy, which fades into the excitement to get dressed up to get drunk. Once you're old enough to do that outside someone's basement, but before you're old enough to be dressing up kids of your own, Halloween is a paradise of live music.

But which of the many, many holiday shows is right for you? Follow this guide based on your costume choice to see which one is suited for your suited-self.

See also: Concert Calendar: October 31.

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Ambassador Wolf Ignites at CSU's Powerhouse Energy Institute

Courtesy of Ambassador Wolf/Jason Prapas
Each member of Ambassador Wolf has a wolf head they made themselves that they wear occasionally for shows.
Ambassador Wolf is used to playing to an audience of massive roaring engines, with the buzz of industrial lights above them. The band, which started as an after-work ensemble for three engineering Ph.D. students, performed in the lobby of their workplace, the Powerhouse Energy Institute in Fort Collins, last weekend during the SpokesBUZZ InnovationSwap, part of its month-long BandSwap program.

See also: SpokesBUZZ Prepares For BandSwap, a Program in Which Local Acts Trade Gigs in Other Cities

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How Big Gigantic Is Testing the Limits of EDM, With Help From Funk Band the Motet

Eric Gruneisen
Boulder-based Big Gigantic -- the instrumental livetronica, hip-hop, jazz and electronic duo -- took the Red Rocks stage this weekend for its third annual "Rowdy Town" show. The group collaborated with Denver-based funk band the Motet to do a full band set each night.

Dominic Lalli, saxophonist of Big Gigantic was a member of the Motet before forming Big G with drummer and producer Jeremy Salken. Lalli says the inspiration for this weekend's set came from Bonaroo, when Big Gigantic was part of a SuperJam set with Skrillex featuring a dozen other artists, including Damian Marley, Chance the Rapper and Zedd.

See also: The Road to Rowdytown: An exclusive look behind the scenes with Big Gigantic

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