Blog Archives

Phantogram

10/12/16
Denver, CO
Fillmore Auditorium
Map of Colorado, USA
3.5 Stars
Sexy blood-boiler. Modern rock is lousy with guitar-plus-keyboard, woman-fronted duos — Sleigh Bells, Beach House and Purity Ring stand out for me — but that doesn’t mean they can’t get you excited. These two New York-based troublemakers have been tweaking the formula for a while now … and always give fans plenty of opportunities to see their road show. And what a show. They came out like bulls in a china shop and never let up: bass crunch shaking your bones; live and electronic drums spilling your drink; all delivered with high-kicks and lit by lasers and strobes. Even their newest power-ballad, “Destroyer,” was sung by sexpot frontwoman Sarah while in a 10-foot-tall, smoke-breathing costume out of an alien battle fantasy. The band’s third album, heavy on danceable beats and collaborator Big Boi’s hip-hop influence, was released just days before, so its songs occupied much of the setlist. The crowd was feeling all of it, shaking their asses to material old and new. This show fell on my concert buddy William’s birthday so his celebratory energy fueled an already charged night. I was exhausted by the end of it. Setlist

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The Samples

12/12/14
Denver, CO
Fillmore Auditorium
Map of Colorado, USA
3 Stars
25th anniversary reunion. This was a special one: the original members of my favorite college band reuniting for one night after living scattered around the country for many years. They performed their debut album from start to finish, a disc that got a whole lotta play at bars and house parties during my college days in Fort Collins. They put on a hell of a show back then and haven’t lost any of their adventurous wit, mixing up arrangements and stretching out jams to the delight of the washed-up crowd so happy to relive their old days. Great, great fun.

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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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Mumford & Sons

6/15/11
Denver, CO
Fillmore Auditorium
Map of Colorado, USA
4 Stars
Made a fan. By the time these guys played the tiny Fillmore Auditorium they were quickly becoming Aida’s favorite new band. “Sigh No More” was in constant rotation in the house and in the car so we were looking forward to this one. The night began with an amazing opening set from local act Nathaniel Rateliff (pre-“Night Sweats”). From there things got crazy good: the headliners artfully blended gently-strummed poems, foot-stomping rockers and psychedelic freak-outs, often in the same song and always with nothing more than acoustic instruments. The group’s recorded output had already sold us on their folky approach to Americana music (this show was before “The Mumford Sound” took over popular music based in radio hits); this live show just cemented their status as a band for us to watch. It was the beginning of Mumford & Sons becoming an obsession in our family. Setlist

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Another Top 5 List Top Opening Acts

  1. Nathaniel Rateliff (pictured) supporting Mumford & Sons | 6/15/11 | Denver, CO | Fillmore Auditorium | Blew me away.
  2. Kasabian supporting Oasis | 9/20/05 | Morrison, CO | Red Rocks Amphitheater | Brit rabble-rousers.
  3. In The Whale supporting Jane’s Addiction | 11/19/14 | Denver, CO | Ogden Theater | Holy shit, what?
  4. LCD Soundsystem supporting Arcade Fire | 9/17/07 | Morrison, CO | Red Rocks Amphitheater | Upbeat and LOUD.
  5. Papa Grows Funk supporting Galactic | 8/26/06 | Boulder, CO | Fox Theater | NOLA-style funk.

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