By Cherie Rae Cobbs 7/28/16
Night 1 of the 2016 Underground Music Showcase.
There was a sea of passersby’s adorned well in smiles and gold lame without explanation. There was the sweet/dream/sugarplum breeze of fresh ice cream cones perfuming the dewy night air. The first foray into Denver’s largest music festival was polite and organized, illustrated by countless show posters clinging so evenly to saran-wrapped street poles. There were parking spaces, swung-open venue doors, cheer and anticipation. The locals in attendance were the early-birds, the curious, the ones who took Friday off, they were clean, energetic and the low-hung dinnertime clouds seemed to set the tone for a tame and melodious evening.
We will be walking for miles up and down South Broadway these next 3 days hoping to bump into friends and fellow musicians, looking for inspiration and stories, unique performance, new music, good food and the general communal merriment such a fest promises to deliver.
All told we enjoyed ourselves. We made the requisite food stops at Pie Hole and Senor Burrito. We had nice summery beer at the Irish Rover and watched three performances detailed below. We hope to see you there!
8pm @Irish Rover – Beautiful Machines
The self-described ‘cinametronic group’ from San Francisco, Beautiful Machines kicked off the night at Irish Rover setting the stage for an electropop affair. This was a buoyant trio which brought driving beats, happy faces, neon lights and new wave inspired upbeat numbers to a large, amiable audience. The sound was interesting and best described as glam-rock infused Bret Michaels/Jon Bon Jovi vocals (if they were doing something cool) intermingled with feel-good dance retro 80’s strokes (like Erasure) utilizing ample synths, keytar and textured lush sounds. Beautiful Machines is Conrad Schuman (Vocal/Guitar), Veli-Matti Mattila (Drums), Stef Ku (Synth/Keys). They were light and fun.
9pm @Irish Rover – *Repeat Repeat
Repeat Repeat was a scrumptious, stylish band hailing from Nashville, TN. They were golden go-go boots, a darkened stage, “…can you turn the lights down more, a little more, let’s get sexy in here…” they instilled drama by way of a mysterious illuminated brief case poised up-front (hands reaching in for nothing easily understood) swagger and sass. They were all energy, urging, surf rock meets punk influenced delivery where laundry-list vocals were spit with articulation, emotion and passion. They sound like a Popsicle wishes it could, all vibrant color, brilliant flavor and smooth, refreshing coolness. It felt like road trip, carefree music, something Jack White/Modest Mouse and MGMT may team up to concoct in days gone by.
10pm @Irish Rover – Bollywood Life
We finished our evening (early) at Irish Rover with local EDM hero Bollywood Life.
Anton Krueger was a joy to behold. His set included quirky, chasing, percussive, electropop, vibrant with videogame undercurrents and unexpected remix prowess. Anton donned a black sleeveless tank with a torso sized white tiger and did not sit still for a moment. He asked the audience, “…anyone ever played a remix of My Humps…cuz I’m about to!” The fun was a constant, somehow My Humps was fresh and fun and parlayed seamlessly into Tender Roni – classic late 80’s Bobby Brown and a personal favorite of mine. Anton was frenetic, he spins, jumps, sweats profusely, habitually pushes up his glasses, dashes, and sings along with every syllable. He knows exactly what he’s doing and you can’t help but crush a little, he’s infectious, sincere and fun.