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  • Blue October - The gold-standard for $29 tickets!

    31 jul 2009, 21:07

    Mon 27 Jul – Crazy Making Tour

    I think I've written enough reviews of Blue October. If I wrote another it would use the same glowing words that I always use to describe the band. So, instead, I'll add this: after watching the show on Monday at the Fillmore, it is clear that Blue October is not only one of the best acts I've seen, but they are the most consistent! Their show at the Fillmore was, as always, spot on! The sound was nearly perfect with wonderful separation and clarity- the music was artfully performed - and Justin Furstenfeld did such a perfect job selling them, you'd think he actually cared about his lyrics!!!! It was just fantastic!

    My only complaint . . . .they didn't play "X Amount of Words." But, instead, they played a set full of fan favorites! Maybe 3 songs off the new album and all the good stuff from their old albums. It was a show for the true fan! They did a lengthy acoustic set that was magical and, perhaps, the best "Blue October" moment of all the shows I've attended!

    Kudos to the Denver crowd. They gave Blue October its due by cheering like mad-men. It was an excellent crowd for the sometimes subdued Fillmore. They even rushed the front barrier as soon as Switchfoot left the stage, vying for a spot just a few feet closer to the action!

    And Switchfoot, what an excellent band! I've been waiting to see them perform for many years -- not quite interested enough to purchase a ticket, but always admiring their tight hooks and sweet melodies. I'll say this . . . . next time they come to Denver under their own banner, I'll be one of the first ones in line to get a ticket! I talked to the lead guitar player at the merch counter after the show -- the guy was so humble and nice you wouldn't imagine he has toured the world under the guise of a rock-n-roll star! Hmm, wonder if that has something to do with their wholesome, Christian-rock roots. . . .either way, it was impressive!

    $29 for the ticket . . .. you can't get better bang for the buck!
  • Franz Ferdinand, I'm a believer!

    23 apr 2009, 16:29

    Wed 22 Apr – Franz Ferdinand

    I don't think it was the barbaric musicianship of the opening act that made Franz Ferdinand sound so good. They played an excellent show last night at the Ogden in Denver!

    After seeing live show after live show, I've started to get a feel for those acts who are special and those that are not. I'm always surprised by the number of well-known bands who just aren't quite there -- their sound is muddy or the lead singer doesn't hit his notes, the drummer pounds like a Neanderthal or the band just doesn't understand the art of performance (i.e. - if your the lead singer in a rock band, act like a fuck'n rock star - that's what we're paying for!) Last night, Franz Ferdinand not only showed themselves to be a great sounding tight band, but demonstrated their prowess as a truly fantastic live act!

    Unfortunately, leading into the show, I knew only Franz Ferdinand's new album, Tonight. After spending two hours bouncing up and down to a set list that included mostly older songs, I now understand the real Franz Ferdinand. I love the electro flare of Tonight. But, the band is a lot more sophisticated than their new album indicates. Their older music and playing style have been honed extremely well. The band is versatile while maintaining incredible consistency in style and execution. The band has nailed a unique brand of live indie rock. These boys can carve a fucking wicked indie groove!

    The show was not perfect. It took the band three or four songs to sink into their sound and the encore never regained the energy of their full set. The electro-fuzz ecstasy of Lucid Dreams was confusing rather than orgasmic. But, before the encore, the set was magical. Rarely do I shut my eyes to just enjoy the energy and flow of the sound. I did that several times last night. The band was lively and the light show was great, but the real magic was in the music.

    Franz Ferdinand, I'm a believer!
  • Not the old Blue October

    3 apr 2009, 16:10

    Wed 1 Apr – Blue October w/ Stars of Track and Field

    In a sold-out Ogden Theater last night, I got to experience my third Blue October show. I thought I knew what to expect: a tightly produced gig with excellent musicianship, a decent light show, a lot of change-ups in musical tempo and great sound. My expectations were shattered. THIS SHOW FUCKING ROCKED!

    Their new album, Approaching Normal, is extremely solid, but not entirely unexpected. The album builds upon the band's always deep and provocative lyrics, lyrics that draw upon the lead singer's struggle with bipolar disorder. Typically, the lyrics are backed by sophisticated musical arrangements containing just enough hooks to keep the masses interested. The album gives little indication that the old band, or at least its lead singer Justin Furstenfeld, has disappeared and been replaced by something much better!

    Last night, Blue October "showed up." Justin marched onto stage not in his customary suit, but in black, his tattoos blaring, his hair pushed into a mohawk and touting a new attitude. At least 30 pounds lighter, his stare focused solidly on the crowd, not on the floor. And then they began to play. Whether it was excellent performance or real emotion, Justin bled his lyrics to the crowd. His face cringed, his fists pumped and his textured voice screamed into his hands. He paced and jumped and allowed his lyrics to disturb him, one time stopping inches in front of a light stand to twist his head and scream at the blinking lights.

    The band didn't follow the typical routine by mixing new and old. They simply played the new album, almost start to finish. It worked brilliantly. The songs flowed from one to the other in a roller coaster of happy and sad, angry and euphoric. The band played in lock-step as if they had performed the new songs for years. Their sound was perfect, but not technical. Heart-felt and organic. It was just fucking awesome!
  • Karaoke

    21 nov 2008, 16:42

    Thu 20 Nov – The Sisters of Mercy

    So, your a goth icon and you need a little cash. You've somehow maintained a die-hard fan base, now aging, but with real jobs and disposable incomes, eager for old-school nostalgia and willing to lay down cash at the box office and the merch counter. Problem is, your past your prime, your hairline is receding and you haven't released a record in years. Despite your fame, you can't seem to find a drummer, a keyboard player or someone to pluck the bass. What do you do?

    I found out last night at the Ogden Theater:

    You shave your head, throw on your cargo pants and fire up the tour bus. You hire a well-rehearsed indie band to open and to give the show a touch of relevance. You half the decibels to protect your failing hearing, fill the stage with so much fog that no one can see you, let alone notice the missing instruments, program the sequencers, take one last slug of V8 and ---- you press "play."
  • Too bad it wasn't live!

    9 jun 2008, 16:02

    Sat 7 Jun – Tub Ring, Mindless Self Indulgence, The Birthday Massacre

    Fun show on Saturday in Denver!! But, I think the vocals and some of the drums were the only live part of the MSI show -- even the guitar tracks were on tape and they didn't even try to fake the synth parts . . . no synth on stage? WTF? I loved the rants between songs and the sound at The Ogden is always the best - I just wish it would have been a live show! On the other hand, I guess its hard to play your bass upside down in a full back bend ;)
  • Great concert!

    29 maj 2008, 14:53

    Wed 28 May – Death Cab for Cutie, Rogue Wave

    Great concert last night. Ben had more energy on stage than I expected and this so-called indie band had moments of pure rock-n-roll. With barely a break to say hello and lament on Red Rock's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" claim to fame, Death Cab played a bunch of songs. They had time for a nice blend of old and new. Before it was done, they performed more than half the songs off the new album. Personally, I think the new songs were executed better than many of their old songs. My only complaint was the sound quality. The mix was acceptable, but not great. The vocals didn't pop out like they should and the bass sometimes overpowered everything. The keyboard parts, especially the piano, were muddled and, to my ear, slightly distorted. The sound guys missed the mark. You go to Red Rocks for great sound!

    Having never heard Rogue Wave before, I thought their opening act was refreshing. I believe they did a better job than Death Cab of climaxing their performance at the right time and leading the crowd to the final song (which brought everyone to their feet, clapping along). Their harmonies were excellent and their music was a nice fit for a Death Cab crowd.
  • Pandor.com vs. Lastfm.com

    30 jan 2008, 17:09

    Just my $.02. . .

    I listen to Pandora.com a lot -- I also listen to lastfm.com. Pandora is superior in one major respect. Pandora groups similar music by analyzing the music's characteristics. This means, if I want to listen to music that is similar to Nine Inch Nails, I get other music that sounds like Nine Inch Nails. On Lasfm, I am stuck listening to any song by any musician that shares a fan base with Nine Inch Nails. On lastfm, I end up getting lots of heavy metal and other music that really doesn't represent Nine Inch Nails. Further, the same artist can produce music of many different styles. I love Pandora's ability to target the specific style and characteristic of a single song.

    Pandora is a superior service for music purists who want to explore specific music genres and styles. On the other hand, lastfm is superior in its ability to link listeners and to connect people with similar music tastes.

    Feel free to comment with your thoughts!