Blog Archives

LCD Soundsystem

8/3/16
Morrison, CO
Red Rocks Amphitheater
Map of Colorado, USA
5 Stars
Elevator going up! I love the disco stylings and fast tempos in these guys’ music and couldn’t pass up a chance to see them reunite at my favorite Colorado venue. It was magical. After two really excellent support acts and a drenching rain shower got things started, the band — a dozen-strong Army corps of beat-makers, knob-twiddlers and multi-instrumentalists — started their set … and didn’t stop the rock until every leg, neck and arm was liquified. I mean, it was exhausting just watching these guys on stage: a flurry of activity, the music surging out of each member through drum kits and keyboards and guitars and microphones. The party gushed in rainbows out to the crowd; the fans wigged out. My concert tastes skew more folk than this so, for me, it was a trip getting swept up; that my good friends and fellow music-lovers Rebecca and William and Lynn were there with me, sliding along the groove and back into the warm night, was like warm gravy. Easily my favorite show of the summer. Setlist

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My Morning Jacket

8/14/15
Morrison, CO
Red Rocks Amphitheater
Map of Colorado, USA
5 Stars
World’s a stage. This show was a monster for me. It was the first gathering of the band’s One Big Holiday (OBH) fan group since the last Mexico festival. Dozens descended on Colorado from all over the country; those who couldn’t make it watched via webcast filmed by the great Danny Clinch. It was a doozey. After an opening set from OBH-alumns Sylvan Esso (they played new stuff!), the boys got to work. An extraordinary setlist. Despite it being the tour closer, Jim was in a chatty mood and the boys were in top form. Highlights included a wicked “Dondante,” a cameo from Brandi Carlile during “Wonderful” and an encore that fuzed both “Touch Me”s with “Highly Suspicious” and “Run Thru.” Absolutely bonkers; a night I’ll never forget. Setlist

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Warpaint

10/2/14
Englewood, CO
Gothic Theatre
Map of Colorado, USA
5 Stars
Trip to space. Holy shit, this was a game-changer for me. By the time I got to see this band play live I had listened to every note they recorded a bazillion times and still couldn’t get enough. The show was in serious danger of getting crushed under the weight of the expectations in my mind. Did they deliver? Yes, and then some. The four ladies of Warpaint have such a groovy chemistry — they’re constantly cracking each other up, stealing smiles during songs, reading one another’s minds — that they make the room nice ‘n small, and you feel like you’re hanging out with them in their apartment while they goof off together. While that laid back attitude is all over the performance, the playing is all business, rhythms tight and harmonies tone perfect. Stella is one of my favorite drummers. The group gets the music swirling all around the place like a dream; its some crazy good stuff. The next time I get to see them play won’t get here soon enough, and I’ll be recruiting every music fan I know to join me in experiencing it. Setlist

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Carnival time One Big Holiday

My Morning Jacket

The Flaming Lips

Mariachi El Bronx

Guest: Bob Weir

1/27/14
Riviera Maya, MX
Hard Rock Hotel
Map of Riviera Maya, Mexico
5 Stars
A concert experience. This event changed my life. It’s a festival hosted and curated by My Morning Jacket, launched near my 40th birthday when I was shopping for a festival to attend with my best friend Brian. It fills an all-inclusive resort for four nights: 3 for Jacket, 1 for the Lips, each ending with a dance party. I had never been on vacation with a buddy, without kids, among music-minded and adventurous adults, and it was fucking awesome. The fact that everyone in attendance was as friendly and as stoked to see MMJ as Brian and me was gravy. The whole thing pushed my capacity to follow one band to a level I didn’t realize was important to me, and introduced me to a fan community that is so filled with love and camaraderie that I can no longer imagine my life without it. Bonus: Bob Weir showed up as an unannounced guest and jammed a bunch with the boys. Setlist

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The xx

6/3/13
Denver, CO
Fillmore Auditorium
Map of Colorado, USA
5 Stars
Slow, sexy tease. The music this trio creates is a hypnotic blend of guitar and electronics that unfolds at a glacial pace, perfect for headphones but not necessarily for concerts. It can get your ass shaking — the producer is an expert beat maker who cut his teeth in London clubs — but their tendency is to tease rather than push. How would it be received by a live audience wanting to dance or, God forbid, rock? It was maddening in the best possible way. This band could easily craft a three-hour set of the type of sweaty, heart-pounding techno that could make rave kids shit themselves; instead they played some of the best-executed rock I’ve ever seen performed — with a ridiculous level of cool — and only injected moments of the dance-y stuff, creating an intriguing mix of fast and slow that I couldn’t love more. It was only guitar, bass, vocals and beats … but it felt like a dream. Setlist

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Roger Waters

5/18/11
London, UK
The O2 Arena
Map of London, England, UK
5 Stars
All the feels. By a stroke of good luck Aida’s and my trip to London coincided with Waters’ anniversary tour of The Wall with his solo band. Our shared love of Floyd and that album in particular made this hefty ticket purchase a once-in-a-lifetime must. The O2 is a gargantuan tent-like monster of a venue that needs to be experienced by every concert lover, and the drunken hooligans filling it for this show were treated to a spirited replica of the original performances in the Seventies, from the brick-by-brick building of the wall during the course of the show, to massive projections of Gerald Scarfe’s original animations, to the ridiculous inflatable stand-ins for Mother, Teacher and all the rest. The only thing missing was David Gilmore and his acoustic guitar atop the 40-foot wall for “Comfortably Numb.” But Waters more than made up for it with a classic Aida and I will never forget. Setlist

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Airborne Toxic Event

4/15/09
Denver, CO
Ogden Theater
Map of Colorado, USA
5 Stars
A true exchange. Was the music great? It was. But that’s not why this show has such sentimental value for me. The gig was originally planned for the tiny Bluebird Theater up the street from the cavernous Ogden where it ended up happening, a change I was bummed about (I love the Bluebird). The change of venue was driven by overwhelming public demand for this band and, boy, could you feel it once the show started. The band members had great chemistry and performed their asses off. Lots of great rock posturing and showmanship. And when they left the stage after their proper set, the crowd went ape-shit. You couldn’t hear yourself think. We were in love with them and we wanted them to know it. When they finally came back onstage — the drummer so moved by the outpouring of support he was in tears — the frontman shared his story about writing the debut album: it was a cathartic thing he did during a time of deep personal depression, done without expectations of who, if anyone, would hear it. We heard it. And we loved every minute of it. Setlist

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