Record Store Chain Reaction Opens Today in Lakewood

A Google street view from late 2012 of the building that now holds Chain Reaction Records.
Somewhere on West Colfax in Lakewood is a strip mall, virtually indistinguishable from all the others on any given stretch of the meandering 26-mile boulevard. The only thing that differentiates this particular strip mall -- for music fans, anyhow -- is that it is now the home of Chain Reaction Records, Denver's newest record store. Co-owners Josh Lent and Val Landrum have been nurturing their mutual dream of opening up a record store with a focus on punk and heavy metal for a long time, but it wasn't until recently that everything seemed to click.

"We'd been thinking about it for years, since like 2007," says Lent, "but it wasn't the right time. Our bands had been touring to California, and every single town there seemed to have its own punk record store, so why not Denver?"

See also: Jello Biafra on His Early Days in Punk in Colorado and His First Encounter with Wax Trax

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Buena Vista's the BEACH Is the Most Scenic Colorado Venue You've Never Heard Of

It's a well-known fact that in order to be a true Coloradan, a yearly prescription of outdoor adventure must be filled. This weekend, I went to Buena Vista to do just that: kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, etc. But when I loaded the car and set off on the three-hour drive from Denver, the last two things I expected to discover when I got there were a thriving music scene and a beach.

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Introducing Syntax Physic Opera, a venue and restaurant with an interesting theme

Jon Solomon
Syntax Physic Opera will open this weekend at 554 South Broadway
Jonathan Bitz says the process of opening Syntax Physic Opera has been heavy, it's been emotional and it's been by far the hardest thing he's ever done. He was hoping to have his music venue and eatery at 554 South Broadway (which most recently housed the Bar and the Atrium) open late last year, but after enduring some construction delays and permitting issues, he says the spot should open this weekend if he gets the green light from the City.

See also: Here's what to expect at Syntax Physic Opera

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Fort Collins's Road 34 abruptly cancels all shows, to the surprise of nearly everyone

Mike Pope
Shaley Scott performs at Hodi's Half Note in Fort Collins. She put on one of last shows at Road 34.
Shaley Scott's performance was the one of the last on the Road 34 stage, and she didn't even know it. The Fort Collins singer-songwriter played for the first time at the venue on June 6, and at the time it didn't seem like it would be the last.

"The door guys said they really loved me and were excited to have me come back," she says. "It didn't even seem like the staff knew. No one alluded to stopping concerts, I mean, they kept saying, 'We're going to have you back.'

"I thought, 'Oh, yeah, I'll book a show here again in August or September.'"

See also: FoCoMX proved Fort Collins's potential as a music hub

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A 7,500-person amphitheater on Santa Fe will host 50 free shows a year

While Ruby Hill Park is a popular sledding spot during the winter months, starting June 2016 the park (near South Platte River Drive and West Florida Avenue) will be home to fifty free concerts a year. Work will begin on the 7,500-person Levitt Pavilion next spring.

"Our entire mission is to build a community through music and by providing free access to music," says Chris Zacher, executive director of Levitt Pavilion Denver.

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Photos: The remodeling of Denver's Hard Rock Cafe, including new memorabilia

Not too long after the Hard Rock Café opened in 1998 on the 16th Street Mall, the Fray played one of its first gigs there. John Lindsay, Hard Rock Denver's senior sales and marketing manager, said the guys in the band walked up the mall begging people to come to see them play.

A lot has changed for the band since then, as well as for the Cafe itself: It just went through a major remodel and got a new collection of nearly 200 pieces of memorabilia -- some of it from the Fray, actually.

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First look: The Office on east Colfax will be a haven for soccer and music fans

Hugh Evans used to have three indoor soccer fields housed in about 80,000 square feet where heran the Colorado Clash soccer club. There was also an 18,000 square-foot party room where large bands from Mexico would sometimes play. But after the building was bought by some pot growers and Evans and his soccer fields got the boot, he needed a place to store all that astroturf. He stumbled across the former Denver Rodeo Nightclub at 7800 East Colfax Avenue, took it over and dubbed it the Office. He'll host plenty of watch parties for soccer (and other) games as well as live bands. As for the turf? It's lying around, much of it headed for a dog-friendly patio out back.

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Starting now, Dada Art Bar will host live music and other events every night

Lori Midson
Iain Chisholm owns the Italian restaurant Amerigo on Upper Larimer. It's a good place to be, and recently the lines necessitated expansion. "As the neighborhood came online, we were starting to turn a lot of people away on the weekends because we didn't have any place for them to wait for a table," Chisholm says. "That led to the need for a holding area, so to speak."

Chisholm took an unusual approach to the problem, opening Dada Art Bar in April at 2470 Broadway. What started as a means to an end, however, quickly turned into a full-fledged, near artistic pursuit for Chisholm. As with Amerigo, he built Dada from the ground up, hanging the drywall and laying the cement. He is hoping to establish a distinct identity for the bar and this week, the space will begin hosting free, weekly events, furthering Chisholm's goal of making Dada into a communal hangout.

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Hoffbrau Colorado moves north, doubles in size and dramatically expands its concert calendar

Screengrab from YouTube
Hip Pocket performs at the old Hoffbrau location last year.
After 28 years at 7699 West 88th Avenue, Hoffbrau Colorado moved to a new 15,000 square-foot space at 9110 Wadsworth Parkway. It's about twice as big as the old location and features an expanded stage and more ambitious concert calendar. The grand opening is tonight, May 15 with live music from the Steve Aldridge Band.

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First look: Cervantes' new outdoor stage, which will host concerts this summer

All photos by Jon Solomon
Over the last six months, Cervantes' has been at work on a new patio and outdoor stage by the Other Side portion of the venue. Woodworker Tommy Lyle of Wood of a Kind built the outdoor stage, seating and bar using wood from trees that fell during the floods last year.

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