How to Turn a Concert Into a Celebration, With Dry Ice, Crystals and Rubedo

Categories: Last Night

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From the Rubedo show poster.
The poster and fliers for Rubedo's show over the weekend at the hi-dive featured the trio as comic-strip space explorers, holding laser guns. The fliers came with bags of crystals, and the Facebook page for the event encouraged people to bring the crystals to the show.

They were both part of the theme of the evening, which band manager Annie Geimer described as "'70s retro space-apocalyptic. We're launching off."

See also: Rubedo Is the Voice of the Music Culture of Today

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Goldrush Proves There's Still Room for Thoughtful Music Festivals

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
Wolf Eyes at Larimer Lounge for Goldrush 2014
As usual, the pamphlet for Goldrush was a work of art in itself, printed on quality paper with a thick, textured cover bearing a mountain landscape and a stylized G. The band profiles, written by people who clearly get the music and have a personal connection to it, were laid out in a helpful manner. A user-friendly schedule was provided in the early pages of the booklet. Someone was thinking ahead generally, and the accompanying tape compilation had a similar simple yet effective sensibility that informed the whole festival.

See also: Best New Underground Music Festival Denver 2012 - Goldrush Festival

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The Drake Vs. Lil Wayne Show Is Spectacular

Categories: Last Night

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Eric Gruneisen
First of all, whoever decided to present Drake and Lil Wayne in a staged performance competition was fucking brilliant. Taking two radio hip hop stars and giving them equal stage time by weaving their sets together meant the energy during a two-hour set last night at Red Rocks never dissipated; it was the best of both worlds all at once.

Drake and Lil Wayne present the perfect sonic juxtaposition: Drake is sweet and sensual (most of the time,) his words slithering and worming their way through the earholes of every human in front of him. Wayne just crushes a room -- or in this case, an open air amphitheater -- with his harsh, froggy voice and wild style. Drake may be the expert crooner, but Tunechi is the supreme rhyme-spitter. Who won the video game-framed competition of Drake Vs. Lil Wayne? That notion is really subjective -- but Wayne's prowess and magnetism combined with having more than a decade of experience on Drizzy put Wayne on top.

See also: Review: Lil Wayne at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre, 8/30/11


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The Breeders - Summit Music Hall - September 5, 2014

Categories: Last Night

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Siblings are the best. Siblings are people who understand your weirdness because they too, are usually a product of the same upbringing. They are often the only people to agree with you when the rest of the world seems not to. They are also often the best partners in both crime and art. Friday night at Summit Music Hall, Kim and Kelley Deal were proof of this, as the Breeders lightly stormed the stage and regaled a half-full room with the intimacies and intricacies of sisterhood, something they've been doing for over twenty years.

See also: Q&A with Kelley Deal of the Breeders

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Who's Afraid of the New York Swans?

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
Michael Gira of Swans at the Bluebird Theater
At the end of the Swans' hypnotic set last night at the Bluebird Theater, frontman Michael Gira told the crowd he'd be at the merch table in ten minutes if anyone wanted to talk or have him sign anything. He seems to do that every show. On stage, the guy is mysterious and menacing, but in person, he's friendly and engaging even as he exudes an undeniable intensity.

Is that aura something we impose on him based on what we all know of the music and the honesty of his performance? Perhaps, but Gira clearly respects the people who come out to see his band.

See also: Michael Gira of Swans On the New Album and His Time as a Bassist


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There Was an '80s Glam-Metal Revival at a Casino in the Mountains

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
L.A. Guns at Lava Room at Reserve Hotel and Casino
For the last handful of years, some rock bands of an older vintage have been brought in to Lava Room inside the Reserve Hotel and Casino. Over the weekend, it was L.A. Guns, the band that helped spawn Guns N' Roses.

When you're thinking of going to a rock show, Central City is not the first place that comes to mind, especially considering all the options available in Denver. For the unacquainted, Central City is a quaint touristy town with a strange graveyard and Herndon Davis's well-known Face on the Barroom Floor painting in the Teller House Bar. It takes seemingly endlessly winding roads to get to the town, a slice of Las Vegas with bright lights on small-town tall buildings, nestled into a crack between mountains

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Future Islands' Sam Herring Is the New Freddie Mercury

Categories: Last Night

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Aaron Thackeray
The way Sam Herring moves on stage can be frightening: One moment he's slashing at the air with a balled-up fist, the next he's pounding that fist into his chest with brute force. He crawls across the stage on his knees, sweating and wailing in frustration, but will look up and into your eyes momentarily, and suddenly, he becomes a person you want to know. Last night's Future Islands show at the Gothic Theatre may have been the band's best-ever performance in Colorado to date, led by Herring's ability to express the most real and raw emotions one human can pass along to a room full of hundreds of strangers.

See also: Our Review of Future Islands' 2008 Show at Rhinoceropolis

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OutKast - Fiddler's Green - August 22, 2014

Categories: Last Night

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Robert Castro of Ultra5280
There was a moment on Friday night when, in the general vicinity of an IKEA, all six feet, three inches of Waka Flocka was jumping into a crowd of teenagers, waving a Flosstradamus flag. Flosstradamus, meanwhile was sending a cacophony of drums and drum-like electronics and rapid-fire laser noises and blown-out saxophone out onto a crowd of some 15,000 more teenagers who were rubbing against each other with their eyes rolled back in their heads.

But the night didn't belong to Flosstradamus or Waka Flocka. It didn't belong to Griz, who followed them, or Diplo, who orchestrated this whole thing. It belonged to two dudes from Atlanta who started making music long before all those kids out on the lawn at Fiddler's Green were born.

See also: The Slobbering Guide to OutKast's Festival Tour

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Remember Black Kids? They're Amazing Now.

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
Black Kids at Larimer Lounge
When Black Kids seemed to disappear from the popular music landscape in the .mp3-blog heydey of 2009, it looked like another example of too much hype, too soon. If the pressure of impossible expectations is weighing on the band's members still, it sure wasn't present at Larimer Lounge, because everyone on stage seemed so engaged and lively. It was like we were getting to see a band on its way up instead of one boosted up by strangers. By having a whole heap of fun on stage, Black Kids made the show fun for the rest of us.

See also: In Defense of Liking Music for No Good Reason

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Jack White Muscles Through a Downpour at Red Rocks

Categories: Last Night

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Photo by David James Swanson. Many more (incredible) shots here.
About twenty minutes before Jack White took the stage at Red Rocks, a hard rain started falling and lightning flashed to the east. Fog machines on the stage were fired up and the wind was blowing the haze, tinted hues of blue from the stage lights, around. For a moment it looked the Do Lung Bridge scene in Apocalypse Now. But instead of Randy Hansen's Hendrixian guitar work as the score, Pete Rock's "I Got a Love" was pumping on Red Rocks house system. Hell, the whole scene seemed a bit surreal, and the show hadn't even started yet.

See also: Jack White at Red Rocks in 2012

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