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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Here's Who Goes to a Presidents of the United States of America Show in 2014

Categories: Last Night

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Gina Tron
Nirvana songs played at the Gothic Theatre before the opener, Toronto-based July Talk. Singer Leah Fay kept nuzzling her head against her bandmates and yelling about pizza. "It's hard to open for the Presidents of the United States of America" she said as she tried to coax fans to come on down into the pit area. They were hesitant. They were more excited about the Presidents of the United States of America.

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Portugal. The Man's "Secret," Instantly Sold-Out Show at Larimer Lounge

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Timothy Norris for LA Weekly. Slideshow
Portugal. The Man in LA earlier this week.
As the old saying goes, "Any show that starts with a giant singalong to Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2' is going to be a good show." Okay, that's not actually a saying, but it probably should be after Portugal. The Man began its Larimer Lounge show with it.

See also: Things You Won't See at Any Music Festival Outside Planet Bluegrass


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Denver Psych Fest Proved the Diversity of Denver's Modern Psychedelic Music Scene

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
Tjutjuna at Denver Psych Fest 2014
Spread across two venues two blocks apart, four stages between them, Denver Psych Fest, in its second year, proved a memorable experience. The walk between the Larimer Lounge and the Savoy Events Center -- as well as the Big Wonderful Sustainability Park between them -- was easy to navigate, and the soothing sounds of Rum Tum sure proved a fitting end to the outdoor stage as the sun went from dusk to dark.

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Strangers Will Buy You Beer When Deer Tick Comes to Town

Categories: Last Night

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John Gilhooley for OC Weekly. More photos here.
People throw all kinds of things at Deer Tick in order to express their love of the gritty rock-and-roll band from Providence, Rhode Island. At the quintet's sold-out show at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, they threw half-full beers, shoes, even themselves.

Even before the group, led by John McCauley, hit the stage around 10:30 p.m., the crowd was drunk, sweaty and excitable. It was no secret that this would be Deer Tick's night, a headlining opportunity on the eve of a shorter slot at Red Rocks on Saturday opening for Trampledby Turtles.

See also: Deer Tick Show Canceled, Free "Beer Tick" Show Instead

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