Photos: Itchy-O 's Bonkers Album Release Show at 3 Kings

Categories: Photos

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Eric Gruneisen
Itchy-O is a band that defies explanation: It's a massive, noise-making horde of masked weirdos, an ecstatic jumble of influence and culture and myth. The Denver-based mobile unit is celebrating the release of its first full-length album, Burn the Navigator, on Alternative Tentacles. It headlined a show over the weekend at 3 Kings Tavern, selling out the place way ahead of time. Our photographer, Eric Gruneisen, did his best to capture the madness -- a few of his best shots are below.

See also: Itchy-O Plots World Domination With Jello Biafra

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Photos: AFI Played the Best Opening Set of the Summer

Categories: Photos

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Aaron Thackeray
Yesterday, Linkin Park headlined Fiddler's Green Amphitheater. That band has aged surprisingly well, as rap-rock goes, but it brought a mighty opener in AFI. No one's following that band and coming out looking good.

Photographer Aaron Thackeray, however, was able to capture some incredible shots of AFI, particularly front man Davey Havok. Here are a few highlights.

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Photos: Fans at the First Phish Show With Legal Weed

Categories: Photos

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Eric Gruneisen
Hey, weed is legal in Colorado for all fun-loving adults! Phish is a band best understood while the listener is in a state of mind unlike the one required to do things like pay taxes and wear slacks. This year's three-night stand by the Vermont band at Dick's Sporting Goods Park represents the confluence of those two facts, and the crowds were in a celebratory mood. Photographer Eric Gruneisen was on hand to capture a few people who had a better weekend than we did, whether they were high on our state's newest recreational activity or just thanks to the music. Here are some of the people we admire most.

See also: The Ten Best Light Shows in Rock and Roll

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Photos: Meet Denver's Friendly Metalheads

Categories: Photos

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Aaron Thackeray
Denver Black Sky II brought a true believer's lineup of hardcore and metal to the Gothic Theater over the weekend.

The crowd found the proceedings deeply satisfying -- on Saturday night, Englewood was home to more broadly grinning people in pointy-font t-shirts than anywhere else on the planet. Photographer Aaron Thackeray was there to capture the horns, the birds and the kindly folks of Denver's serious metal scene.

See also: Culture Shock's Geoff Diederich on Straight-Edge and Why Denver Can Be Boring

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Photos: The disappearing shirt crisis deepens at HARD Red Rocks (NSFW)

Categories: Photos

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Aaron Thackeray
HARD is an organization that brings skyrocketing DJs in sunglasses and aggressively patterned shirts to venues and boats around the country. Last night, the Red Rocks installment (HARD: Red Rocks, duh) brought headliners Nero and Dillion Francis along with a few more artists and several thousand people who are, in fact, hard to our favorite quiet little park along the front range. Remember a couple weeks ago, when we brought you dire news from said park about an attack on the shirts of America's helpless youth? GUESS WHAT? IT HAPPENED AGAIN.

It is our solemn duty to bring you documentation in the form of more photos from the steady lens of Aaron Thackeray, along with increasingly hysterical reports from the scene. I'm deeply sorry.

See also: The great disappearing shirt crisis of Global Dance Festival 2014

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Photos: The great disappearing shirt crisis of Global Dance Festival 2014

Categories: Photos

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Aaron Thackeray
Global Dance Festival -- by some metrics the largest EDM festival in the region -- brought a typically powerhouse lineup of bass purveyors to Red Rocks over the weekend. Over three days, thousands of fans flocked to the park for sets by the likes of Adventure Club, Zedd and Waka Flocka Flame (GDF has recently been experimenting with new genres). By all accounts, it was a solid progression for a music festival a decade-plus in existence.

But we regret to inform you that tragedy dampened the otherwise-upbeat mood on the event's first night. Suddenly, without warning, huge numbers of attendees found their shirts shrinking and even disappearing. Some tried to make do with makeshift replacements -- the effect seemed lessened for costumes and reflective materials. Veteran photographer Aaron Thackeary did not flinch, and we are able to bring you this report from Backbeat's reporters, supplemented by his photographs. A word of caution: This account contains images that may be upsetting to some of our readers, particularly the parents of teenage girls and office managers seeing this over the shoulders of their employees.

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Photos: The world's largest marijuana pipe, at the Umphrey's McGee tailgate at Red Rocks

Categories: Photos

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Eric Gruneisen
OK, so there has been somewhat more weed smoked in the vicinity of Red Rocks this season. Not inside, mind you. That would still be illegal and no one's breaking that law -- never have.

But the parking lot is a different story. And we have seen some impressive displays of plant life this season. All that was amateur hour, which we learned over the weekend when Umphrey's McGee came to town. Let it be known that fans of that band take their pot very seriously. The pièce de résistance (sorry, sorry) was certainly this here pipe, which seems like it would be a challenge to even hold up, especially after taking a hit of the massive fistful of drugs within. Here's another view:

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50 photos that prove Red Rocks is the most beautiful venue on the planet

Categories: Photos

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Eric Gruneisen

Anyone who has ever taken in a show at Red Rocks knows that it is hard to describe. The acoustics, the crowds, the breath-taking view in every direction. Instead of describing it, our photographers have been hard at work capturing it, and the many concerts that occur there on film. The 2014 season is halfway over, and to celebrate (or mourn) this marking, here are the fifty best photos of the venue, and of course of the crowds and performers that make it what it is.

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Photos: The face-painting mastery of KISS fans

Categories: Photos

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Aaron Thackeray
It is no surprise at this point that KISS fans do not come unprepared. Still, a flock spanning three generations spent hours getting that eye-star just right before last night's show at the Pepsi Center.

Photographer Aaron Thackeray was there to commemorate their work. Here are our favorite face-painted KISS fans. If it ain't broke...

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Pearl Jam Covers, pantslessness and so, so much beer: Great Divide's birthday bash in RiNo

Categories: Photos

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Aaron Thackeray. Full slideshow.
Seth Stone of The Dirty Few (right) does some rock and roll stretches.
Here's the thing: When you let a bunch of people into a field where there are several dozen very high quality beers in limitless supply, and then you close with a '90s cover band, people will sing every word and hug strangers and generally head out of there with smiles on their faces.

Credit Virgil Dickerson of Greater Than Collective and general Denver music expertise, who has booked the music at this thing for the last three years, with an impressive lineup of local artists paced perfectly. Confluence started the day with well-wrought sunny weather rock. Varlet got most of the way through a set of remarkable melodies before the sky opened up.

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